In a Monochrome World

Sometimes, no matter how young or old we are, no matter how little we have to trouble or vex us, we suffer from weariness. Our feelings go flat. Everything is just too much. We’re not tired exactly; we’re not bored; but there is a lassitude we can’t magic away. We are like Henri, the existentialist cat, in a monochrome world.

When I worked under D. Hildelith Cumming, the great Stanbrook Abbey Press printer, almost the first thing she taught me was the infinite variety there is in the colour black. Yes, black is a colour, and blessed are those who recognize it as such. It transforms everything. It doesn’t mean that the world is suddenly shot through with the myriad brilliant colours Apple promises in its latest retina displays; it doesn’t dispel the blankness of feeling; but it does allow us to see what we previously missed — that there is something beyond our present mood, that there is a gradation in the shadows, and that the shadows themselves only exist because of the abundance of light.