Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Conflicting desires

One of the many things I've learned, watching my daughters over the years, is that we humans tend to have conflicting desires.  This is true in a lot of arenas, but the one I'm thinking of this morning, in response to this picture, is the conflict between wanting to stand out, to be unique and special, and wanting to blend in; to fit in, be part of the crowd.

Some part of us desperately yearns to be seen for who and what we are, and another part of us has learned, not just that there can be comfort and support in community, but that "the nail that sticks up gets pounded down."  And so there's always this dance between the two extremes.

... which seems to me to be both a gift and quite reasonable: we need both extremes, in ourselves and in society.  This tree helps me understand that: I might not have taken the photo if it hadn't been for that yellow leaf.  But I need all the red leaves to set off the yellow one; the photo would be just as boring if all the leaves were yellow as if all the leaves were red.

And what really makes this picture pop is that all those red leaves have yellow tips -- and, of course, those black black branches, the dark threads that knit them together...

1 comment:

Joyce Wycoff said...

So beautiful ... and so true. We so long to be special ... but if we're "special," we're set apart and feel isolated. Complicated little mechanisms aren't we?