12 December 2011


My man is off in California again for a week. Oddly enough, one week apart seems like nothing, compared to the five months he was away from home this summer. Last year, having him gone for a week would have freaked me right out (spousal business trips have caused hysteria on more than one occasion); this time, I just shrugged. A week without him? Whatever, it's just a week. It's all in the contrast.

I also noticed it the other day, that difference contrast can make. I was driving home from dropping off the kids at school, and appreciating the lovely hot air blowing from the car heater vents. Now, I would not have been nearly as grateful for that warmth if I hadn't been so cold just a few minutes earlier. Going from freezing to toasty has a way to make you appreciate the pleasure of a well-functioning heater. In the spring, we take the warmth for granted, don't even think of it; and then come summer, we get too much of it, and crank up the air conditioner - aah, coolth. The contrast has it.

It's rather like that chiaroscuro thing I was waffling on about a few months ago, that contrast between light and dark in art. For me, a really good painting has to have those contrasts. My favourites, personally, are colour contrasts, the strongest ones you can get, which are the contrasts between the primary and secondary colours. I somehow get a charge out of loading my brush with a bright yellow, and splashing it across a page, then going back and picking up a brushful of crimson for a few more splashes, and then some solid ultramarine blue to fill in the gaps. Pow!

My cats, though, do not appreciate contrasts. The strawberry tabby (he looks like a ginger tabby that's been run through the wash with too much bleach) likes to sit on the pink shale rocks which are the exact colour of his fur, and the small fluffy black one usually chooses to perch on the lap of the person who is wearing black jeans. Failing the Men in Black, she finds the nearest black backpack which was conveniently dropped on the floor where it doesn't belong. And snowy winters are the bane of her existence - not only is it horribly cold and wet outside, but that stark whiteness, it obviously offends her tender sensibilities. Black kitty and white snow do not mix.

Life, the Universe and Contrasts. I think I'll have some hot tea to celebrate the cold outside.


  1. I don't mix with snow either. Maybe i'll hibernate 'til spring.

  2. You could flake out in front of the fireplace or in any handy patch of sunshine coming through the window - seems to work for the cat.

  3. Your contrasts make me think of something I read years ago (when my boys were car seat age) on perspective that has stuck with me. The author talked about how at any given time we could react to things differently. Like one day I might be in a rush and I hit a red light and get really annoyed and frustrated at the time I have to waste at the light. Another day maybe the baby is fussing in the car seat and I am really happy to have the light turn red so I can turn around and check on the baby and offer some comfort. The red light is the red light - it's just the same - it is only my perspective that has changed.

    Maybe one day you'll be able to not only shrug at the idea of a week business trip but be able to look forward to it as one week of alone time (or BBC/Masterpiece theatre time?) for you. ;-)

  4. Heh, that thought had already occured to me. One of the first things I did was to go buy food that the man doesn't like, and cook it for dinner for the kids & me. Works for all of us- he doesn't have to put up with the smell of pork chops, and I get my fix! :)