When I was 15 I wrote a poem that ended in two lines like this:
„And if all colors are combined in white
Doesn’t black hold inside all lights ? “
Obviously I was thinking about the physics theory that white light comprises all the visible colors in it. And I wanted to do justice to black, many times seen as a kind of enemy by some people.
I will try to count here a few meanings or symbols that black and white are suggesting to me:
snow, Snow-White, fairy queens, bride dresses, white roses (my favorite flowers) and other white flowers (lilies, snowdrops and others), white doves, white unicorn, medical uniforms, Pierrot costume in Commedia dell’Arte,
mourning dresses, black cats, black slavery, groom suit, priest and nuns costumes (Orthodox), starless night, fresh compost, black tulip, black stallion,
BLACK AND WHITE
chess pieces, clear-cut conclusions or thinking (sometimes wrong), piano keys, a garden under snow, old photographs, traditional costumes in my grandparents’ village, Swan Lake ballet, black and white statues,
and many others…
I was always a pedestrian in my life. Black elegant cars or white limousines were passing by, while I tried to walk the line between black and white. White stripes for pedestrian passages. Walking over them with a black handbag hanging on my shoulder. Carrying the black and the white of my life altogether. Black letters on white pages, all the books I read in the past. I can say that I always preferred white to black.
Take for example the black cat. Since they are born they seem less attractive than white ones. Although, as far as I know, black cats are more common than white ones. When I was a child I read a story about a princess transformed in a white cat then saved from that magic spell by a prince (Link). I liked very much that story. It is obvious that the story could not have been about a black cat, the black cat cannot seem so pure, fragile and delicate. Moreover, the black cat is the center of many superstitions.
Of course, black leans against white and white leans against black. The best example I can give about this harmonious whole is the traditional folk costume in the area Făgăraş-Sibiu in my country, a costume I inherited from my grandma (Link.). I wore it when I was in kindergarten when we had festive days and we were photographed. Because I was raised there I prefer those black and white costumes to other colored costumes in other areas, I was proud of my origins. Different countries have different traditions and also different black or white superstitions. Usually folk costumes are more colorful, this is why I was proud to be raised in a Transylvanian village where black and white are combined without other colors (except for a few golden threads on the apron or on the shoulders). (Link) I liked the purity and simplicity of these clothes, worn by peasants even in their daily life there, when I was a child. I think it is one of the best examples that humans can combine black with white in order to create something that lasts through the ages.
One of the traditional Romanian folk songs (doina) sung by a singer from Sibiu area, a song I liked when I was young: