Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The colors of the rainbow... pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of the people passing by.

Lately, I've been thinking about color. I guess I have always thought about color—ever since I was about 5 years old and my sister told me I could not wear a maroon sweater with a red skirt and pink hair clips because they clashed and never clashing again became my life goal. But besides making sure my bandana matches my shirt before I greet all those customers who are sticklers for color-matching pizza delivery girls, I have been thinking about color a lot.

A little over a year ago, for my final project in History of Creativity, I drew this somewhat morbid picture, Ophelia et Filius (Ophelia and the Son). At the time, I thought it was important that the only color be in the wounds of this generic Ophelia and Christ to emphasize that the Atonement makes us like our Saviour. I was adamant, too, about the simplicity of the picture and the lack of background because only Christ's connection to the sufferer was important. In the past few weeks, I have had the urge to draw a new version of Ophelia, vibrant with color. I've been wondering where the urge came from, and I've decided it stems from my mood and my perspective on life.

While I was in the UK last May, I wrote an essay about color and vision. For weeks I had felt that the world was a void; my life was meaningless, full of failure and stale relationships; and when I looked at people, plants, books, sunsets, all I saw was black even though I knew there were colors and shapes in front of me. After a week of hiking in Scotland and England, looking at the once friendly countryside from familiar mountain peaks and lake shores and trying to write profound truths in my journal, I realized, I still didn't see anything. At least, I saw no form, but I had begun to see color. I saw the silver of Loch Lomond at I sat in the hostel, the gray of the rock as I climbed Scafell Pike, the blue of the sky at the top of Helvellyn, and the green of the pastures along the Pennine Way. But I saw nothing more than color—no breezes blowing the grass by the lake, no newborn lambs in the fields as I had seen 2 years earlier in the same places. Color was something, but it wasn't the detail I needed for my writing, nor the experience I wanted from my trip. I tried to see form in the following month, but I never did.

Now, 6 months later, I am not only seeing color and form but desiring to create them. I wish I understood how and why these changes take place in me. I wish I controlled them better. I wish a lot of things. But right now, mostly, I wish I had pastels to draw a picture of all the colorful gifts God has given me.

1 comment:

Linda said...

I found this post really moving. I was very touched. I also have a question- which one of us told you that your maroon/red/pink outfit didn't match?