Seeing Green

This morning a friend linked to a talk by Jill Thomas that has me thinking about green. Before moving to SoCal, Jill lived in Northern Virginia for a few years. In the early years of diving deeper into photography and building a budding business, she took some of my favorite family photos when she hauled her living room couch to an apple orchard. In the years following her move to SoCal, I sporadically followed her and her family and the mourning that they went through. It was special for me to hear her comments this morning and I found great truth in her observations.

Experiencing green opened my soul to the full color gamut of life and the realization that we are known individually. Deep, profound heartache comes in many shades of green. After experiencing my own shade of green, I more fully see those who have experienced green, even if our greens look different from the outside.

Jill talks about the paradoxical nature of life – where apparent contradictory forces provide us seemingly inconsistent, conflicting, clashing emotions.

In the paradox, diametrically opposed emotions coexist. These seemingly antipodal emotions exert force on us, shaping us, in a not always harmonious way, but the result is a deep shade of green where greater sorrow bears greater happiness. A coexistence of seemingly antithetical emotions that produces profound peace. And we learn, or I did at least, that seeing green is less about seeing and more about experiencing. Experiencing green in the most breath-taking, earth shattering, art museum of life’s experiences.

Life also offers a second, related paradox. I would never want blue or yellow. I feel a deep existence in green. I find deeper sorrow, greater empathy, and more full joy in green. In green I see greater understanding and deeper forgiveness. I experience more purposeful regret. I find lasting in green. I find grander eternal perspective in green. As Jill remarks in her close, there is a place for you here and you are needed. I feel that at a very deep level. And the paradox for me is this: I would never want anything but green and while I want others to know the deepness that green can be, I don’t want others to experience the heartache and suffering, agony and hurt that is so often the door to green.

I don’t see the blues or yellows much anymore, but in the greens find profound purpose and endless eternities.