The Art of Nuance

The Art of Nuance


I just got caught up on ABC’s This is Us which further proved to be jaw-dropping, heart-stopping brilliance. It faithfully depicts human/flawed/real/loving/painful relationships in one of the most honest ways I’ve ever seen on the screen. If you fully absorbed (this is key) the most recent episode, you experienced the layered, complicated scene with Randall and Kevin. It was soul moving for me, personally. But generally, as it related to race? It could not have come at a better time (at least in my lifetime). If you never believed in the power of performance art before, here’s your chance to become a believer. If you haven’t seen it yet, pay attention to the nuance between Randall and Kevin—throughout—but especially at the end. The power is in the *nuance.

I recently saw a trailer for The Sound of Metal that included the line, “For your consideration,” which points to the Oscars. Well, done (and well done.) I have been considering it since I watched it. I’m casting my vote. This film, like This is Us, was such a gift. Different subject matter, but still, it was a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, path-giving gift.

Art can make us see. It can make us hear. It can make us believe. It can make us better. It can help us know the nuance, which so often is the missing link, and everything.

We’re in a world of hurt these days. I’m worried about what happens this week as the jury considers. Across the country, across the board, we are so divided, so camped-out. We’re conflicted and afraid and self-protective and unsure about so many things and so often completely unaware of any of it. We see and hear things at face value without digging. I’m so thankful for art that helps unearth, peel, connect, helps us to see and hear things differently—in a way we’d never imagined because we innocently didn’t know what we didn’t know, and/or worse, pridefully didn’t want to know because we think knowing it means we are wrong, which falsely means we are bad. So we stay stuck, divided. Black or white.

How important are the shades of gray?

How important is open-hearted curiosity?

How important is art?


Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep.

Clive Barker


Art is a wound turned into light.

Georges Braque


Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

Thomas Merton


*As I was watching episode 12, I noticed the title was “Both Things Can Be True.” This is pretty much my point: we either don’t think this can be, or we forget this can and often is, the reality. So, instead, we make someone wrong or bad or both. All or nothing thinking is a killer.