The Dawn of Man
Posted by PintofStout on February 26, 2007
Like a magnetic dipole, a coin flip, and sex, sometimes beautiful subtlety needs a polar opposite to be possible or fully appreciated. The thought came to me while descending into the Beaver River Valley headed westbound on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The sun had set just moments earlier behind the hills on the other side of the valley and the color bleeding from behind the hills was breathtaking. I happened to notice that the dark shadows of the hills were also spectacular in their absence of light. It dawned on me, well sort of set on me, that the magnificent color would not look so magnificent were it not for the sharp contrast of the shadows and vice versa.
I always find myself marveling at the sunsets and sunrises and the colors and contrasts of shadows and silhouettes. The sites and feelings of such times are rare in the middle of the day. Perhaps it is in change that the beauty is exposed and with that change the contrast of two states on either side of the change being visible at once. The same can be said for many things in life. Death is but a change that contrasts the subtle but beautiful life living on only in the mind’s memory with the dramatic contrast of the same’s absence. Birth works in the opposite direction where we can marvel at the existence of life where there once was none. And in the middle of life or in the middle of the day when a storm rolls in, the light and colors are more brilliant than on a clear day. The juxtaposition of good and bad, ease and adversity, joy and pain makes those feelings seem that much stronger and more beautiful.