Notes on Creativity theme of the week:


It’s the silence after the echo,
the alarm clock shattering the dream, the last red rose in the snow.
Such contrasts heighten our sensitivity to the complexity and beauty of life.

Ours is not a world devoid of feelings, of dark greys, going through the motions or mechanical gestures.

No, ours is a world of thunder and dead quiet, cheering crowds and peace marches, imagination and mathematics. The more of the world’s many shades and moods we see, the richer our grasp of possibility.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

A Picture of Perfection

It’s a perfect scene, quaint cabin, warm glow emanating from inside, smoke billowing out the chimney. A pristine valley with snow-lighted mountains rests in the background.

Millions of copies of life idealized hang in the living rooms and bedrooms of the middle-class from coast to coast. There’s one in Grandma’s house. Margaret always hated it. 

There’s been another Thanksgiving family feud and Margaret has stormed off into the spare bedroom, slamming the door behind her. The picture frame rattles on the wall, catching her attention. Her eyes narrow as she stares at it and seethes.

A rush of adrenaline.  

She flings the desk drawer open and grabs a black Jiffy marker. With a few quick strokes the mountains turn into erupting volcanoes, lava streaming down into the valley, bursting the cabin into flames.

“A picture truer to life,” she proclaims.

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Filed under Creativity, Writing

18 responses to “Contrast

  1. The peaks and troughs are so exhilarating, aren’t they, Zoe?
    I wonder if everyone feels them with the same depth.

    • I don’t think everyone does.
      Experiencing the height of the peaks comes with the price of having to experience the troughs more deeply as well. Those who live on the flat plains have an easier time- but then again, they miss the exhiliration

  2. Well, Margaret, I do declare!

    Great story. My wall picture of calm and natural beauty hangs in my living room.

    The rose in the snow. What a beautiful contrast of delicate and harsh, the contrasts of life. I like your conclusion: “The more of the world’s many shades and moods we see, the richer our grasp of possibility.” This is very true. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Ooh . . . I used to LOVE slamming doors.

    And if the first wasn’t loud enough to signal my dismay with the current state of the world . . . I’d slam it again.

    Now, I must say, the peaks and valleys have evened out for me. But I got a kick out of the impromptu artwork caused by her seething anger.

    Thanks, Zoe.

    • Not a lot of subtlety in door slamming, is there? 🙂 Perhaps we all mellow out over time…

      • Reminds me of my brother who was the archetypal angry young man raging against everything – he once sprayed graffiti across a painting I did on my bedroom wall but now he’s just a mellow old fellow with a big heart

      • That must have been a terrible moment seeing the graffiti across your work. Glad he’s changed- a contrast in his character from what he was to who he is. Thanks for sharing this true life contrast.

  4. Peaks and appropriate after the season.

  5. One of the things I love about Chinooks is the contrast between the sunshine and blue sky over the mountains, and the darker cloud cover on top. It is the sign of a contrast in temperature that we all look forward to seeing. Great post!

  6. Catherine

    I like the Contrast. The red rose has a life like fire while white snow is cold and silent…. Well done!

  7. Excellent, who would have thought a marker pen could inspire such interesting writing

  8. Chloe

    Hi Zoe – I agree…contrasts are an essential part of life and the appreciation of life…without them, so many things would just go unnoticed. The beauty of life is partly in noticing the detail.

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