Opposites in the Arts

We can learn much from opposites in the arts. In fact, the very contrast of opposites can help us in coping with grief.

Just think of a painting. If all of it was equally dark, there may not be enough contrast to be informative or interesting. The same could be true if it was equally light. If a painting was entirely in warm colors or entirely in cool colors, there may not be enough contrast to have some pop. It is the concept of opposites which allows us to identify something. Are you in a dark space or light? Does your mood feel warm or cool? On the feeling spectrum, do you feel closer to grief or peace?

  • All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves. In reality opposites are one – art shows this. Eli Siegel
  • The principle to remember is that all dualities and opposites are not disjoined but polar. They do not confront each other from afar; they originate in a common center. Michael Michalko
  • A dark object seen against a bright background will appear smaller than it is. A light object will look larger when it is seen against a background darker than itself. Leonardo da Vinci
  • Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. Mary Oliver
  • In order to understand the dance you must be still. And in order to truly understand stillness you must dance. Rumi
  • It belongs to the imperfection of everything human that man can only attain his desire by passing through its opposite. Soren Kierkegaard
  • Music is the harmonization of opposites; the conciliation of warring elements. Pythagoras
  • God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one. Rumi
  • Breathing involves a continual oscillation between exhaling and inhaling, offering ourselves to the world at one moment and drawing the world into ourselves at the next. David Abram

As you can see, opposites in the arts have much to teach us in regards to how we may cope with grief. In order to find peace, we must pass through the grief. May all of us make our opposites one by searching for beauty, painting our feelings, dancing our delights, singing our songs, breathing our breaths, being still in the darkness, and shining our lights.

You may be interested in EMPOWERED LIVING by learning what effects practicing the visual arts have had on my students. This link offers suggestions for ways to use the arts to cope with grief: https://psychcentral.com/health/grief-art-therapy.

Published by Linda M. Wolfe

Midwestern mystic with varying amounts of mother, teacher, artist, seeker

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