Shades of Gray

by Jenn on July 25, 2011

in Photography

Quail Eggs, Black and White
Are you someone who sees the world in black and white, where choices are either yes or no, right or wrong, here or there?  There was a time that I liked to think I was, that if just looked at with the right perspective, the world could be simplified and ordered, categorized into neat little bins in which to place every tough situation.  And that once everything was properly sorted into its place, it would be easy to see what the consequences of each would be and where to go.

Sigh.  It’s never so easy, is it?

For what is ever truly black and white, devoid of any shades of gray? Even in the photo above, the smooth quail eggs showing their moon-like crater spots against the rough surface of paint-chipped and cracked wood, very little is actually white or black.  Most of the image is gray, just like I think most lines in life tend to be.  We tend to try to put situations, people, the world into one of two boxes despite us all knowing it is so much more complicated than that – whether it be politics, religion, lifestyles, personalities, opinions, dinner, whatever it is that requires interpreting the world we live in.

Sometimes, we need to embrace that our lives are full of gray and soft lines.  The world can be beautiful in shades of gray.

Spanish Cathedral

I love how so many variations of the same color offer texture and interest in an image, and wonder if that can be applied to our day to day lives as well.  How boring would everything be with only black and white? Gray defines the world.  It defines who we are, how we interact with others and the decisions we make.  Sometimes, it’s nice to remember the color gray is more than just a placeholder between two extremes.  It is where the very essence of a thing lies.

And by stripping all the colors away, removing the blues, the reds, greens, yellows…sometimes I feel that then I can appreciate a new form of beauty – one of texture, shadow, light.

Sailing on the VierwaldstätterseeHow does this translate to flavor? I’m not sure – for I view flavor as I do color – but I think we need to learn the same lesson – to not always compartmentalize how we associate foods and to learn to see their subtleties.  To try pairings that seem different, and see how they work.  For example why should chocolate only be for dessert, or herbs only in savory dishes?  What’s to prevent us from mixing things up and trying something a little different from what we’ve been eating day in and day out each year?  Why are we so prone to only tasting what we know rather than boldly mixing the palate with new shades of taste for the tongue?

While I am not sharing a recipe today, I challenge you to embrace the gray – see the world for all of its beautiful variations, and try a new taste or two.  And I think by doing so, we can all learn to appreciate and see the beauty of color along the way as well :)
Saturn Peaches