Perhaps we aren’t so impressed by the recent books and movies because our own stories have moved beyond the grey. After the black and white facts we learned to dabble in monochrome.  The subtle nuances of what it true and what’s imagined, un- versus acceptable, the pain and pleasure of our own comfort, right and not-so-wrong.

Where things really get interesting, and colorful, is the intersection of my choices and flaws and mistakes… and sins (dare we even use such an outdated word?)  When our stories become less about how someone else’s choices affected us and more about the effect our choices have on those around us.

Years ago I entered a conversation I knew I’d regret.  A gaggle of women beating the dead horse that was Jerry Sandusky.  “What a Monster”, “I hope he burns in hell”, “What makes someone so horrible” they cried.  Having been privy to their recent discussion on books, movies, fashion, gossip and other things that don’t interest me in the least,  I couldn’t resist dropping a bomb on the conversation.

 It’s just a shade… maybe a few shades dark for your particular taste, but he’s no different than any of us.

“Oh, it’s totally different.”  Was the group consensus.  And it IS.  Except if you really are honest with yourself.

If we are being totally transparent we have to admit that we’ve crossed fine lines.  And sometimes wide lines.  …and then there are the gaping chasms we’ve crossed, knowing full-well we’ve got no business veering over.  We cross right straight on to deep, inky black.   And for ourselves, it’s acceptable.

It’s only “totally different” when someone else’s choices are under scrutiny.  When someone else is talking about who talks/eats/drinks/sleeps around too much- especially if the subject of the conversation is someone wearing our same jersey.  It’s okay to talk about the other team as long as “other” isn’t us.   …or sitting too close to us.

The thing I love most about the other people On the Couch is that they never forget that the “Other Team” isn’t the enemy.  After we really wade through the crap, we can see clearly that we are all black and white.  Not or… and.  We are Black AND we are White.  We all suck.

Whatever drove us to do the thing we hated ourself for yesterday is the same thing that drove him to do what he’s hating himself for today.  There’s no joy or even relief or help in wishing more pain on the child molester who has gone to jail.  Between the black and the white of what was right and what is now terribly horribly wrong there has to be a sliver of light and hope.  There has to be room for grace.  For some other color than just black, white, and the fifty shades between.  The grace comes in the yellows of curiosity or the orange of wonder.  Yes, and red of anger and the blue of depression.  Grace shows up in the purple and periwinkle that makes way to ask the questions about how to make things better- not just for me but for those that hurt me.  And not just way back when but yesterday and today.  Because I’m still hurting others too.  I’m still sitting on the beach talking about the one who isn’t here and what she did to hurt me in a way that I know would hurt her- and I wouldn’t do it if her chair was pulled up next to mine in the sand.  As my shoulders turn a deeper shade of red, I’m grateful.  The cheap talk and latest thing has no allure for me… all of it’s just old recycled news.  That same news printed in black and white.  I’m ready for some grace.  Something really colorful.  Something really worth talking about.