Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blueberry Blue and other colors

When I was a child, I learned my ABCs and my 123s. Quite easy lessons if it must be told. I remember one day my cousin was learning how to count money and I wanted to join, but was told I was too young to understand it; so I counted the pennies in my head. I was right every time save one when my cousin's hand hid two underneath, but I was the only one who knew.

I loved counting. I would count with the Count on television and sing 123..45..678910...11..12 all day long. I counted the cracks in the sidewalk to the front door of my house. I even counted the legos in the big red box my father had bought me not forgetting the one I had gotten stuck in the bottom of R2D2 on christmas morning. I counted shooting stars from the back of a station wagon with my best friend at the time, and counted the number of nails we had to finish building our tree house. I counted until I could count no more. Now I count other things - less tangible - less identifiable. I count the colors of my heart.

When I was in junior high I remember learning the colors of the rainbow. ROY G BIV. I made up a story about Roy. He was a prince in a far away kingdom who had stolen the coat of colors from a man who claimed it was from a man who had been with a man who sold his brother into slavery. He wore it proudly, as if it were a magical thing. Then one day he gave it to me. It looked a lot like a sheet from my twin bed, but I would tell him no different. It did have magical powers though. That story is for another day.

Anyway - colors are counted and there is no end to them as there is no end to numbers. ROY G BIV is just a fraction of a fraction of the truth of colors, though no one tells you that in school. The rainbow is just seven colors. RedorangeyellowgreenblueindigoANDviolet! But as I have grown and traveled the world I have come to know there are more colors than anyone could imagine.

Isn't it always like that? We learn as children one way. It is not necessarily wrong, but it is definitely not the entirety of truth. We learn the sky is blue, but no one tells you why until they think you are old enough to know. We learn 2 + 2 = 4, but not in some cases it could be more if you let someone like George play with the rules. You don't learn that until you are in High School - if you are lucky. I learned white is the color of weddings and happiness, only to be surprised to find out it is not so lucky in Asia - where the color most sought after is red. Silk red. Made with a hundred million petals of a beni-bana... which if soaked properly and numerous times the silk will go from yellow to blood red. One thing made to traverse a great number of identities. Again, lessons we don't always learn right away.

So it is I love colors now. I have been innocently pale and ruby red delicious. I have swollen with the color of sapphire blue so sad the trumpets of old man Blue himself could not play. I have felt the hand of dusks orange wrap about my soul like a friend. I have tasted lemon yellow on a winters day because I was too sick to drink anything else. But there are more colors...

Raspberry red, Mango orange, Sun Yellow Rue, and petulant pink.

There is the color of normal.....
There is the color of money....
The color of sin....
and my favorite

Blueberry blue. The color of my life. Some might say it is ironic in a way - eat to many blueberries and you will get sick. Eat it too ripe and you'll wish you had a dash of sugar to soften the sting. But no matter what - you can't eat just one blueberry... and like my life I cannot think of one moment which I could live without. Despite all of my learning the little truths and the bigger ones to come along..... there is not just one to taste.

So where was I going with all of this?

We count the blessings and misfortunes in our life, and sometimes the color of those blessings or misfortunes seem to drown in a sea of too litte or too much. But always, if we pay attention, there is not one or another that is the right color - there is not one way to paint the world.

There are so many colors... and we need them all to make our life meaningful. Blueberry and other colors.... yours and mine.