It is very easy to imagine Brahms hard at work on one of these pieces, his thoughts occasionally flitting to the other: dark inspirations originating from bright beginnings and vice versa.
Sometimes our thinking and approach to problems can be limited by our one-sided view of them; we tend to see things as good or bad or right or wrong rather than allowing our thoughts to cross-fertilise with the opposite interpretation or point of view.
The next time you are addressing a difficult situation or problem, allow your mind to bridge the gap between opposites. Ask yourself the following:
- What is positive about a negative situation?
- What is negative about of a positive situation?
- What positive consequences could grow out of a negative situation?
- What negative consequences could grow out of a positive situation?
- What is the opposite point of view to your own and what interesting, intriguing and/or useful insights does it provide?
Remember that sometimes opposites, just like salt and pepper or sweet and sour, can complement rather than contradict each other.