In the world of “art toys,” juxtaposition is almost a rule of thumb. Gentle paired with violent. Innocence blended with the grotesque. Light crossed with shadow (in the Jungian sense if the word).
I love to work with this concept in my own pieces. Take the Death Bunnies for example. A cute/grotesque monster who dons an adorable bunny costume that is adorned with skulls.
At the time of its creation, I simply thought the contrasts were funny. But recently, I got to wondering why? Why am I and others so increasingly drawn to the art of opposites?
I once heard mythologist and storyteller, Michael Meade, explain that in the world of myth, whenever two opposing forces come together, there is a third, spiritual force seeking to come into being. This, Meade says, is why the third time’s a “charm.” That is to say, magic. And it’s in this moment of magic when the Divine reveals itself to us.
Think about that for a minute.
When I do, I have to admit that some small piece of me not only takes pleasure in, but seeks out the tension of opposites. I, in some strange way, enjoy repeatedly being surprised when my story of how things or people are supposed to be, aren’t. It's why, despite my complaining about it, I'm always logging onto Facebook, unconsciously hoping there will be some bit of drama to get excited about.
Sometimes those surprises are simple and no big deal in the scheme of things. Other times they ignite a fire within me I scarcely know was to do with. And I like it.
I come alive.
I feel purposeful.
And I catch a glimpse of something within that is so much larger than my literal self.
Moments like these are gifts and the price of admission is a willingness to sit in the tension of opposites long enough to see past the literal folly of the players on the stage and into an understanding of what their mythic or metaphoric messages are.
I live for this space and these moments.
This is the essence of the Bardolands.
That uncomfortable gateway that lies between what is and what wants to be.
So the next time you find yourself squeezed between two such contrasting forces, perhaps you will soften your gaze, step into the mythic territory and ask yourself, “What Divine truth is seeking my attention in this moment?”
Until next time…
Yours in service,
Caption R M Trotta
Pirate King of the Bardolands