Mary & Kermit: A Study in Contrasts

DSC_0004-1 Tore this stamp off of a Christmas card that arrived last week.  Originally, I intended to put it into my Christmas journal, but I was struck by the contrast it presented.   I left it out on my desk because leaving it within daily eyesight is a reminder that in a season full of paradox & contrast, I often need perspective.

The Holiday season is permeated with contradictions like:

* Time off from school and work {“down time” that is full of agendas & activity}

* The darkness of missing my Daddy when there are lights everywhere {Reminiscent of the bright and sunny day that he died…}

* Deep sadness & loneliness {often occurring in the midst of parties and crowds}

* Kermit with a Santa Hat  {next to Madonna & Child}

Contrast in art and writing is a wonderful definer.  Lights become more clear next to deep darks.   Characters reveal themselves more fully when they have a counterpart and complementary colors are brighter next to each other.

Like Commercialism in close proximity to Contemplation on a Christmas card.

As much as I love the Christmas season, I struggle every year to not step into performance and busyness over gift-giving, decorating & beautiful food.  If I don’t consciously slow down and orient to our family’s year-round values of faith, peace & giving, I’ll be caught up in responding to the blinking lights and advertisements that say I need more.

I think too, that Kermit & Mary are a visual for the societal press to make Christmas less Madonna-and-Child and more Kermit-in-a-Santa-hat.  {I suppose Kermit is easier to live with than the man that Baby Jesus would eventually become… yet more paradox.}  And then there’s the part where living out a life of love & peace is often wrapped in discomfort, martyrdom and difficult decisions.

My prayer for the season is that as we spend time behind the scenes with late nights and long lists so that home will look, feel and smell peaceful, that we create peace in a peaceful way.

By | 2016-10-19T14:20:41+00:00 December 21st, 2009|Art is Life is Art|8 Comments

About the Author:

I create containers for words and paint and I fill them. I craft safe, sacred spaces for people to wrestle, create, heal and shout from the mountain tops.
 
And I teach people to do all of these things for themselves.

  • Lee Ann

    this blog in itself brings paradox and contradiction all its own…causes me to feel comfort and discomfort at the same time (in that Christmas will always be about the God-man in my heart, yet I will always struggle with the Kermit side.) joy and heartache (in that I have so many blessings here and now, yet I, too, am missing those dear to me.) peace and unrest (in that the answer is so easy, yet so difficult to accomplish.) thanks for the challenging thoughts. happy Christmas, betsy!

  • I LOAVE the stamps! Great *ehem* juxtaposition.

    Thanks for pointing us towards God in the paradox and finding him in the details of life (a subtle exhortation to do it myself)

    Thanks for having such a keen eye. “Good eye Brian”

  • Thank you for sharing this contradiction and paradox with us! I believe it is the commercialism that has taken many away from the true meaning of Christmas. I find it sad that for a time of year that should bring joy and happiness from being together with family and friends that it has mostly become stressful and obligatory to provide gifts to heighten the emotion of the occasion. Time with family and friends has been valued less than material goods. Sad… yet only a cultural paradigm shift will effect a change to value others’ time and love more than material goods…

    I’ve grown older and I find that the tree, the gifts and Santa are for the kids. Yet, I also remember from my early Christian training that the three wise man came bearing gifts. Gifts that were not affordable to the average individual back then…

    I also agree with you on the heightened happiness and sadness as we spend time with those we love as well as remember those who cannot be with us over this special holiday.

    Again, thank you for sharing your keen thoughts and perspectives!!!

    WIshing you and yours my veryest bestest for this Christmas Season!!!

    Steve

    • Steve – Thanks for sharing your passion, wisdom and art here and at other forums. Happy Christmas to you and yours!
      ~betsy

  • Yolanda

    Thanks, Betsy, for expressing those profound and moving thoughts and feelings that I, too, (and perhaps others in our circle) have been experiencing. You’ve a God-given talent for converting these so well into the written word. Your words brought both smiles and tears. Love you.

    • yhc – thank you as always for taking the time to read and comment. You are the reason that I believe that there are no limits.

      ~betsy

  • Becky

    Thank you for expressing this thought. It is deep and rich. I have fought so many of these contradictions already this season. Just this morning I was wrapping gifts and thinking “I don’t have enough for this person”. And my heart said – “what more could you give him that would show your heart any better?” Glad I can “hear” the voice within my heart sometimes.

    I especially like “Characters reveal themselves more fully when they have a counterpart and complementary colors are brighter next to each other.”

    • Becky – I call that voice, my “inside voice” and I think it’s super important to stop and listen to it. Thanks so much for all the creative complements that you’ve shared with me in the past several months. Have a happy, happy Christmas!

      ~betsy