Jeremiah's School of Levitation


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Captured Color

When was the last time you ever stopped to realize just how much color there is around you? Sunlight helps immensely to pull the color out of things, to invite the flowers to come and dance and throw off the color veil and just let it all hang out. But, I happen to live in a place where it is cloudy roughly 266 days a year, so I don't usually get the benefit of the sun being this sort of visual pied piper, leading color on a parade. Strangely enough, though, this doesn't hinder my experience of color, for I've found that low, lifeless-gray skies actually are a way to give carte blanche to color to express itself without the added garnish of sun gems.

So, the best time for me to experience the color is the time when the sky has none. I notice then that the searing red of the rhododendrons, the pale purple of the lilacs, and the deep yellow of the popcorn-bodied snapdragon flowers acquire a bit more personality when they have no sun to refine them, to tickle them, to tell them to stand up and make a speech. It's like snatching a glimpse of a lady twirling an apple in her hand in the produce section. You know? She's not posing, there are no bright lights on her, she's got no pressure to perform, no clear indication that anyone is looking. She's just there, living in a private moment, looking at an apple, not realizing anything about herself except that she needs five really good apples, and she's going to stare them down until they show themselves to her. Unburdened by anyone's expectations, she stands there just as herself, and she's gorgeous.

That's what flowers, grass, evergreens, and, heck, even paint does under the clouds. They just are themselves, offering up the color that they brought to the day, without adornment, without gleam, without self-consciousness. There is nothing more soothing than a flowery window basket flaring with color, hanging out in the muted gray of the day. We have a great deal of Northwest gardeners, even in the winter, who realize this and who know that offering their flowers as dapples on the ashen canvas makes you smile, even when you don’t realize it, which then, in turn, dapples your own face with captured color.

Makes a cloudy day worth it, I say.
Jeremiah, 5:48 AM

6 Back at me:

a sunny day here is the most incredible thing; the colours are stunning...

a friend of mine is a photographer, and she likes a cloudy day... no shadows...

but I prefer the sun... hee hee hee...
Blogger ipodmomma, at 9:38 AM  
You hit the nail on the head! I loved your descriptions.

And now, next time I take a few minutes to buy apples, I will wonder if anyone is watching me and my colours.
Blogger Mona Buonanotte, at 10:05 AM  
I think you're the first person to point out a truly wonderful reason for gray days. Thank you. The next time gray impedes my world I will remember that the colors are speaking their truth that day.
Blogger Maggie, at 10:27 AM  
I have certainly found the joy in grey skies and drizzle, but i still prefer the recent spate of sunshine. It has kept me from leaping off the side of the Aurora Bridge.
Blogger meno, at 6:19 PM  
Definitely a post I can sink my teeth (and spirit) into.

I stop countless times each day to pause and look at the beauty around me, be it in the color, the contrasts, the gleam of a sunbeam, the wisp of a cloud, the sound of the crunched autumn leaves clinging to their last hope on almost bare trees or the smooth texture of a fresh snow on a field untampered with school children's feet.

My youngest daugther went shopping for XMas 2005 with my mother-in-law and picked out a sparkly Desk size XMas tree for my present. It was interesting to wrap - so I was told and my inlaws were wondering what I thought about it. Although an unusual gift, my daughter knew that I would appreciate the various rainbow sparkles it emits at just the right angle to the lights, so I'd say she did an amazing job shopping for her Mom.

Although I love the sun and certainly thrive when the sky is blue and not "cloudy all day". I appreciate the backdrops as much as the picture itself. Would we still see the depth of so much beauty if we didn't have anything to compare it to?

That is what I appreciate about cloudy days, the simpleness of it, the contrast in the colours and in my emotions.

As an aside, I don't toss the apples up into the air, but occasionally I get caught dancing up and down the grocery store aisles. Being yourself whereever without placing too much weight on how others could judge you is the best freedom of all.

Oops, I rambled a little. Perhaps its time to get back to blogging on my own site. Hehe.
Blogger Misty, at 5:22 PM  
til good of you to find the positive in the gray
Blogger Badoozie, at 8:04 AM  

Say sump-tun