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Too Close

Chuck Close is a modern artist with a fascinating story.  (I won’t copy and paste the details, but if you’re interested, read this.)

He paints portraits of faces.  Really, really big ones.  Like the size of an entire wall in your house.  And he does it through a system of grids and color matching.  Basically this results in the following – From far away his work looks like a normal, but giant painting of a face.  The closer you get, however, the less it looks like a face at all, but rather a series of random color blotches.

What a great analogy for life, right?  We have the ability to zoom in and out of our own (or anyone else’s) individual story or experience.  But if you get too close, or stay there for too long, you forget that this one little splotch of color is a tiny (yet integral) part of a bigger, beautiful masterpiece.

In the same vain, if you remain at a distance and only look from far away, you might miss the mystery and wonder of each individual stroke of the paintbrush that perfectly fits together to create a bigger image.  You would miss the beauty of the process.

It’s the “don’t lose the forest for the trees” saying… (I’m pretty sure I got that colloquialism right)

I can easily get bogged down and overwhelmed by the particulars of my own life circumstances.  The ups and downs, hurts and fears and joys, while forgetting that my life is part of a bigger Story and that my pain fits into a bigger masterpiece of redemption and hope and healing.

I’m thankful for the reminder to step back, appreciating both the bigger narrative and where I fit in.


About Samantha Curley

Hi! My name is Samantha Curley. I live in Pasadena, California where I run a non-profit organization called Level Ground (onlevelground.org). I like to ponder, ask questions, and share stories about life, art, and faith.


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