• Cindy

Juxtaposition (jux·ta·po·si·tion)

Juxtaposition is a complex concept. Literally, it means 'the fact of two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect.'

Meet Elisabeth; the queen of juxtaposition. She and her husband both serve in the US army. They are stationed in Japan. Elisabeth broke her ankle during a training exercise while in Japan. She ended up with 10 screws and plate in her leg. As you can tell she also ended up with a fiberglass cast.

When I first saw this picture, I laughed out loud. How audacious, surrealistic, and cute.

The right foot encased in a sturdy well worn boot. The boot is laced securely and he top is covered by a camouflage pant leg. The right foot tells a tale of a tough woman. Hardened by basic training and miles of marching. Trained to shoot and kill enemies of the United States. Willing to put her life on the line in the service of her country.

Then there is the left foot. The black fiberglass cast. Dainty toes hanging from the end of the cast. Toes that have been carefully painted and stenciled with eye catching blue and white. This is the foot of a feminine woman. A woman who has a soft, gentle side. A woman who needs and likes to be taken care of.

In Chinese philosophy, there is a concept called Yin and Yang. All things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites, for example, female-male, dark-light and old-young. The two opposites of Yin and Yang attract and complement each other and, as their symbol illustrates, each side has at its core an element of the other (represented by the small dots). Neither pole is superior to the other and, as an increase in one brings a corresponding decrease in the other, a correct balance between the two poles must be reached in order to achieve harmony.

Elisabeth's left foot represents the Yin and her right represents the Yang

We could probably find similar concepts in other cultures and religions. For my money, the picture of Elisabeth's casted foot juxtaposed with her army boot is the perfect example in American culture.

Elisabeth has fully recovered from the injury. She and her husband still reside in Japan and serve in the US military. She became pregnant while in the cast (lucky husband) and now is a proud mother.

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