I’ve heard it said – in many variations – that peace is not the absence of chaos. It is, instead, a state of mind – the ability to rise above anxieties and fears and gain a sense of perspective that might dispel a brief, but great, moment of tension. And if that’s true (I think it is), what can we say of the other opposites, contrasts – absences – we’ve come to known? Black vs. white. Help vs. hurt.
Style vs. substance.
If you’ve read this blog for more than a second, you’ll know that this site has sometimes caused great tension for me in the past. Am I – by seeking to discover the beauty that exists aesthetically – contributing to the sense that we are defined by this same beauty? That our bank accounts and homes and closets are true measures of value? That things are greater than people, form greater than function?
I realized, today, that this is a gray area. It’s one that cannot easily be summed up in a pinnable photo or tweetable post, but instead, is a greater chaos that might always exist for me. But peace, I’ve found, is not the absence of chaos. And form is not the absence of function.
Life is not either/or. It is and/both. It is everything, all at once, spilling out of our neatly-organized backpacks and bumping into each other on the streets. Indeed, in the great spectrum of life, there will always be a bit of gray.
Beauty and flaws. Style and substance. Design and imperfection. These are not words created to be opposites, they are ideas created to push and pull at each other. They are messy concepts meant to be honored but not taken seriously, held closely but not clutched.
We are not beautiful with flaws. We are beautifully flawed.
We can be mothers who speak passionately about art, and we can be artists who speak passionately about motherhood. We can be both, and we can be gray. We can be teachers and wives and really bad cooks that sometimes go to yoga but mostly just wear yoga pants. We can be foodies who frequent Chik-fil-A (waffle fries, you know it) and we can be skincare experts who battle breakouts. We can be stylists in sweat pants and cobblers in bare feet. We can be both, and we can be gray.
We can be style and substance, imperfectly designed. Some days charcoal, other days mist. But always, we can be gray.
Image Credits: Apiece Apart
p.s. The post that started it all.