color breathing

Tuesday 24 June 2008

"Light is colour and colour is light. There are no actual colours in the world around us - only the waves, of varying lengths, which constitute light. These waves are absorbed and reflected by everything that light hits. The reflected waves enter our eyes, activating the rod and cone cells situated at the back of the eye, on the retina. These then transmit the light-triggered signals, via the optic nerve, to the visual centre at the back of the brain. It is only when this has occurred that we "see" colour.
Pauline Wills - Colour Therapy: Exercises and Inspirations for Well-Being

Last night I drew swirly things with pencils. This makes me happy. The swirly things are often nature-derived - seed pods and dramatic black swirly vines, and leaves and stuff. They're not always green, although I can float off on a deep mossy green. Last night's swirls were blue and orange.

I imagined, as I sat in my blue chair, that I was breathing in colour. Deep, relaxing blue, breathed deep into my lungs and out into my body. Then, to balance, its complementary colour, orange, opposite on the colour wheel, the colour of joy. Breathe in orange, breathe it out into my body.

I wore my long red coat today, the one I scored from the op shop for 11 bucks. Red is one of those colours, so vibrant and passionate, that also can rouse anger. Contrasted against the grey skies, it aroused my heart.

Red and grey look great together. The grey clouds totally covered the sky today on my way to work. I rejoiced that this didn't cause a corresponding upswing of my immune system as it's so often done in bleak years past. Grey skies are gonna clear up. They are still rather oppressive but I got to admire the fluffiness in them - never threatening rain, just threatening boredom. Grey is quite boring on its own (why so many cubicles in so many offices - grey? My cubicle walls are crimson. But they are just masquerading).

Today Palmo at work was wearing crimson. Agnes was wearing lime green. The colour of wonderful things that are probably in Kent's garden. Whenever I wear lime green people say, "Oh, that's your colour. You should wear it more often." Lime green is the colour of spring and wearing it in winter is a defying of death. And a defying of your eyes to read this on-screen. Sorry about that.

Today an Indian woman wore sari pants and a sari scarf of magenta, interwoven with gold thread. Sometimes I see a colour and I fall into it and fall into it and I come out the other end swimming on the air.

I stood at the station waiting for my train, and grabbed the thread of an idea and pulled, just a bit. Grabbed a couple of envelopes in my bag and began frantically writing on them, from Flagstaff to West Footscray, all up and down the sides of my bank statement and my telephone bill warning pending telephone closure (I don't care. I'm getting Skype).

I felt flushed, warm, pink. A few people were looking at me. This happens when I am excited. People pick up a change in your energy, I'm sure. It's more than smiles playing around mouths that cause us to look at one person over another, more than simply attractiveness or non-attractiveness. The people that interest us the most are the ones bubbling over with enthusiasm.

I am most enthusiastic when bubbling over with the beginnings of a story because I feel like the story is in touch with something else that knows all the good secrets in the world and will whisper them to me if I stop and rest. And having the beginnings of a story bubbling over in me makes me feel rich the way a big bank balance or power or prestige never could.

One day I will have the beginnings of a story and it will be about a colour and it will just be all too much. I will be overwhelmed and burst into tears and will be put away somewhere where the walls are padded blue.

And as they medicate me, I shall repeat like a mantra, shall scrawl it on the blue walls in indigo pen: The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most" (John Ruskin)

"Come now and let us reason together," says the Lord. "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow."


  1. Yeeessssss.

    I just wish I could finish what I start when I get this:

    "I am most enthusiastic when bubbling over with the beginnings of a story because I feel like the story is in touch with something else that knows all the good secrets in the world and will whisper them to me if I stop and rest."

    Because I do, for about 50 pages. Then it fades and I forget. Until the next new thing comes along.


  2. most excellent post dear sue!

    visually and verbally interesting

    thanx for adding some colour to my day

  3. Erin - This is my problem too. It's exactly what I have just been writing about in my morning pages. It's what scares me the most but I'm starting to feel more confident that I can pick up the threads once I've laid them down. I think :) I hope :) I think this is partly what my art therapy has been about.

    Kel - no worries. I am your walking Crunchie bar :)


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