Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rainbow Beige?

 Which looks right to you? 

The other day I determined to paint with Bonus Baby at the dining room table. My strategy is usually to spectate, thus avoiding frustration on both our parts, but for whatever reason that day, I felt up to the challenge.  She, with her three-year-old attention span, is always game.

Despite the fact that a layer of paint might actually do our table more good than harm, I laid out plenty of newspaper before setting out the rest of the supplies, which included several tubs of rainbow colored fabric paint leftover from Forgetful Child's birthday party/T-shirt making extravaganza.  Since I usually just dole out primary red, blue and yellow, B.B. was extra excited.  "Let's paint a rainbow!"

I gave her a brush for each color and proceeded to demonstrate the correct arc and order of hue for a perfect rainbow.  B.B. watched nonplussed, and then went ahead and did her own thing.  The result, while not very accurate, was wildly colorful

--- that is, until she decided to stir all of the colors together.  What was promising to become an Art Wall of Fame masterpiece quickly became a muddy beige mess.

Of course, as her loving Momster, I didn't crush her little artistic soul and tell her exactly what I thought of her creation, but I did suggest that next time she may want to try for a little restraint.  She looked at her page, and then mine, and her face fell.  "I give up!"

Newsflash! I didn't invent rainbows!

I had nothing to do with their design. Nobody asked me if I thought red should go next to orange, or if violet should be on top or bottom.  Despite that fact, or more likely because of it, rainbows are pretty much perfection.  When a one appears (usually after a storm) the individual colors rub shoulders seamlessly, making it hard to discern exactly where they meet.  This blending is natural, creating subtle hues that complete the illusion.  But without your basic colors in their proper amounts...

or order...

...well, things just don't quite look right.

Now, unless you're new to these pages, you'll know that I have five Critters in all.  And as much as I love each and every one of them, one of each is enough.  The order they came in wasn't my design either, but I couldn't have planned it any better.

Over the years, at various ages and stages, each has compared his or her artistic style and ability to my own and for a moment floundered, even though (in art, at least) I have never pushed or demanded that it's "my way or the highway".  I know a few things, but I'm no expert.

However, being a parent who wants to see her children succeed, I don't try to dumb down everything for them either, preferring instead to set a standard to work up to.  This goes for board games, levels of cleanliness, schoolwork (especially grammar), attitudes and values as well.  High expectations along with plenty of encouragement along the way have helped them to grow into the wonderful, uniquely colorful Critters they are today.

I fear, however, that due to certain atmospheric changes the vibrancy of their hues is in jeopardy.

Tangent Time: 
I've always found it interesting that dumping too many contrary pigments in the same bucket makes a bleh mess, while with light, all colors work together to make pure white radiance. 

Even more interesting - "the Light of the World", whose goal it is to have us share in His Light, was feared and (supposedly) silenced by those who had set themselves up as authority figures.  Since His followers are called to be salt (flavor) and light, and to not hide their light under a bushel, it stands to reason that an attempt would be made to suppress them as well.

Today some self-titled proponents of "embracing diversity" are becoming increasingly insistent that all thought reflect their own, all actions support the "proper" opinions and motives.  If you don't share their view, you are automatically labeled phobic, hateful, judgemental, backward, unintelligent or worst of all, intolerant. 

(Intolerance as defined in Webster's is an "unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions, beliefs, or persons of different races or backgrounds".)

A true Rainbow Coalition would support the rights of ALL, not just those on one end of the spectrum.  Red should have the same rights as green, but not the right to run roughshod over her.  Orange shouldn't have to become violet, or yellow, indigo.  Forcing one to become the other is not tolerance, but coerced submission, a situation those "in authority" profess to abhor.

So what to do when ultra violet and infrared are so divergent that there is no yellow-green meeting place?

There was a quote graffitied on a overpass near our small town a few years back: "The limits of dictators are determined by those whom they oppress."  To paraphrase, "people will only take so much".  Such was true of first slavery, then segregation - and rightly so.  Recently however, causes taken up by an extremely powerful and vocal minority do not represent the basic values and ideals that our culture was founded upon. 

I feel a new revolution coming on from those whose  "colors of conscience" are being diluted, dulled down, made beige by political correctness.  That is... I would if "nice" people weren't so afraid of being thought intolerant.

To the apprentice, deferring to a superior craftsman isn't always easy, but if you want your end product to turn out well, you learn from a master.  Anyone can declare themselves an artist, authority or judge, but it doesn't automatically follow that they are.  Following the Manufacturer's instructions makes a lot more sense than caving to a bully.  In that light, biting your tongue occasionally to spare someones feelings is one thing, but never voice an opinion because you might offend someone and you end up living in a totally beige house.  Beige walls, beige floor, beige furniture, beige food, beige family, beige values, beige, beige, beige.... a stew of dulled colors.

We can "give up" and live beige lives.... or we can let a little Love and Light in, and continue to color the world with vibrant opinion and expression.

As for me, I'll keep painting rainbows the way their Creator intended, hues harmoniously side-by-side...

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