Softening the Contrast

by Belinda Munoz on January 20, 2011

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Sometimes, it’s all too much reality to handle.

To live in a society where one man’s medical leave ties up the news wires while countless others, in need of a life leave, hardly make a blip on the radar

To deem certain foods of a certain grade worthy of consumption when millions would sing to the goddesses for scraps bearing no grade but a hazard label

To render credible a well-coiffed woman speaking scripted words in front of a well-placed flag while another woman zigzags for no camera from continent to continent sowing seedlings of peace wherever they may grow

To gawk at elegant women and men wearing layers of designer pretense as they walk down a red carpet; meanwhile, we look away from those with searching eyes, bruised souls, and naked hearts

Some pictures seem all wrong. The contrast, too stark, assaulting our senses. The lighting, too sparse, challenging object permanence.

So we squint. Blink. Wink. Until our cones and rods adjust and the sharp edges fade.

And yet some pictures seem all right. Pictures drawn from dreams laced with signature brushstrokes. Softening the contrast. Adding a touch of light to the dark.

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Image by aussiegall

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January 21, 2011 at 6:52 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ayala January 20, 2011 at 5:25 am

I love this,Belinda.”Meanwhile ,we look away from those with searching eyes,bruised souls and naked hearts.” love,love,love this!!!!

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2 brian January 20, 2011 at 5:41 am

oh they have all been painted and even amid the bleek there are rainbows just waiting to pop out after the hurricane…

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3 Katie January 20, 2011 at 6:23 am

Softening the contrast … sounds like a powerful method for accessing something other than those sharp contrasts, a pathway towards envisioning a saner picture. Powerful imagery and words, Belinda.

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4 David N. January 20, 2011 at 7:23 am

Poignant, this. Thank you for the reminder.

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5 Sara Healy January 20, 2011 at 8:56 am

Belinda — What a beautiful heart you have. In these words, I see all your compassion flow freely. You remind me to do a check-in with my priorities.

I really loved your closing for this post, “And yet some pictures seem all right. Pictures drawn from dreams laced with signature brushstrokes. Softening the contrast. Adding a touch of light to the dark.” I loved how it so perfectly fit the picture, which is glorious, with it’s edges are softened. Well done and well said:~)

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6 Jeanne January 20, 2011 at 9:08 am

Belinda — Wow! I’ve often wondered, with great consternation and impatience, when the various news media will wake up and realize their greater calling might just be to celebrate the REAL heroes, the ones unsung, the ones who face gargantuan hardships but keep on keepin’ on. I dunno, maybe it’s all too big for them to handle. Meanwhile we soften the edges so we can handle the incongruities. I thank my rods and cones for their kindness, because maybe the sharp contrast is too big for me to handle! Thanks for the wake-up call . . .

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7 Cathy January 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Such a beautiful reminder. Indeed it is contrast. In my life I try to really focus on where troubles really lie, what is a true problem verses a mere inconvenience, what matters and what doesn’t. It is distressing that the world can focus so much attention on such seemingly unimportant things.

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8 Rudri January 20, 2011 at 5:42 pm

This is my favorite part of this post: “To gawk at elegant women and men wearing layers of designer pretense as they walk down a red carpet; meanwhile, we look away from those with searching eyes, bruised souls, and naked hearts”

Essential words. Beautiful reminder. Thanks for readjusting our focus.

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9 emmalynn January 20, 2011 at 7:37 pm

I squint and blink too, we must re-attach our hearts and minds.

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10 rob white January 21, 2011 at 6:13 am

Wonderfully said, Belinda. That is the world voice that is constantly trying to grab our attention. If we do not fascinate our own minds with expressing our infinitely unique nature… you can bet the world voice will do it for us.

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11 emily wierenga January 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

love, love, love….

gorgeous writing. absolutely.

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12 Marci January 21, 2011 at 7:05 pm

It reminds me of flipping through channels and catching a glimpse of the Miss American pageant. I used to love watching the woman get all dressed up. But now that I’m all “grown up”, I find it somewhat distasteful that woman still have too get all dolled up or stripped down to bikinis or show their “talents” to be awarded the “crown.” Haven’t we progressed farther than this? I may be reacting more harshly than most, but I found it odd that this USED to be so entertaining or inspiring.
What do you think about this contrast?

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13 Belinda January 21, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I think you have a point, Marci. And yes, i join you in raising an eyebrow at what still passes as inspiring after having made great strides in many areas. But i do think that the very existence of pageants has in some way added to a richer more meaningful dialogue about beauty, femininity and women in general.

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14 Marci January 22, 2011 at 4:56 am

Thank you for the engaging exchange. 🙂 There is always and upside and a downside isn’t there? I hope it still has some use, or the woman surely wouldn’t be participating. We don’t have to look like Barbie to be beautiful…

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