Negative Space

moon shot flatWhy do we spend so much time talking about what we DON’T like or want? Why is there more emphasis on what we hate than what we love?

This is an issue when we are criticizing another human being – when we as parents spend more time admonishing our children than praising them or when we as teachers only have time to speak with our students when they are misbehaving, or when we as spouses only speak to each other to suggest or voice “concerns.”

However, I truly believe we as human beings come by it honestly. We are our own harshest critics. Without getting into how hypocritical we can become in this art, I see it like this: negative space is the white in a photograph or the black in a velvet Elvis. Negative space is what is cut away from a sculpture or what is noticed by artists to make the subject more prominent. In essence, negative space is what is not there that reveals what is. (In the above picture, most would say the photo is of the moon, but there is less moon subject matter than the sky. The huge “negative” sky reveals the solitude of the moon.)

From what do we learn more – what we WANT to be or what we DO NOT WANT to be? It’s just easier to see and remove what we don’t want from our lives. Inversely, we do need to add stuff back in so we don’t become empty shells but removing what we do not want is something that makes it easier to see who we want to become. By removing judgmental-ism, it is easier to see the acceptance. By removing the media addiction, it can be easier to see what our time could and should be spent on. By removing the hate, it is easier to see who we need to love.

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One thought on “Negative Space”

  1. Good food for thought. It’s easier to comment on the negative – it’s already defined. Aspiring for the positive takes more work and often harder to define… therefore, I think, is harder for people to describe.

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