Black & white

black n whiteyOne of my most unattractive traits is my need to reduce things to the starkest terms. To force things to their conclusions, label ‘em, deal with them in their simplest terms and file them away.

I can do that with people. Friend or foe. Genius or fool.

I can do that with movies, books, food, pens. Thumbs up or down.

I can do that with opportunities, trying to figure out what something might amount to, whether it’s worth doing from the get-go. I know what it will be like to go there on vacation, to eat that, to watch this, to do that.

1 or 0. The binary life.

In some ways, this is an efficient way to live. I can sift through things, sort ‘em, leap to conclusions and move on. In other and more important ways, it’s dumb and limiting.

When you thing you know what some thing will be like, why live it? But no matter how smart I think I am, I don’t really know how things will actually turn out.

The most interesting things happen in the grey areas, in the open spaces, unpredictable, chaotic and fecund. Fecund because they aren’t gridded out and regimented. Because they follow the laws of nature which are chaotic and random and constantly shifting.

Learning to live with ambiguity is one of the toughest things I have done. But if life has taught me anything, it’s that you never really do know what’s going to happen and it’s self-defeating and ridiculous to pretend that you do.