wordless wednesday with words

This is a picture of *a room lit yellow, which may appear orange, which forces me to tell both an orange story and a yellow one.

Orange

I love everything about orange, the vibrancy of the colour, the spelling and sound of the word — it sounds awake  — and the smell of orange blossoms and how that orange tasted right off the tree that time a thousand years ago in Florida and how avocados grew nearby and the way Florida grass feels on bare feet, different than our grass, and the rain that day, coming down so hard I wanted to cancel our flight but the Florida people said don’t worry, it never lasts, and it didn’t, and the tangerine tree near the avocado one and the dear Peruvian woman who picked a bagful of tangerines and ate them as she walked home while the Florida people clucked their tongues and said they were too full of seeds.

Yellow

I am nine or maybe seven. I am in my room when the door slams open and my dad stands there in his Hawaiian shirt, a Sweet Caporal between his lips, the smoke making him squint as he yells What’s your favourite colour???? and the volume and intensity of the question, the shirt, the smoke, the squinting, it unsettles me, terrifies me a little if one can be only slightly terrified, and I’m not ready with an answer and I can see that he’s expecting one quickly. He is not a man who likes to wait around for things when he’s wearing his Hawaiian shirt because that means he’s working at something in the house or the yard and is in no mood for dawdling. I can barely think of ANY colour much less my favourite. Do I have a favourite? Yellow, I say, and then he leaves (goes to Canadian Tire as it turns out) and returns with a gallon of paint and before you know it the walls of my room (and the ceiling) are canary yellow and before long so is my toothbrush and a new pair of slippers and jeans and pyjamas and it feels like every gift I’m ever given from that moment on is yellow. It’s only when I move into my own place that I can avoid yellow and I avoid it for decades, including being the yellow piece in board games. And then one day it stops. And, along with orange (and turquoise and green), it becomes my actual favourite colour.

~

* The yellow room is an installation (by Kosisochukwu Nnebe) at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, currently part of an exhibition called ‘Made of Honey, Gold and Marigold’.

 

 

this is not a review: ‘bluets’, by maggie nelson

 

Ninety-five pages containing 240 vignettes on the colour blue.

And life.

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets is one of those rare gems not only for the precision of her writing… there is nothing that shouldn’t be there… but for discussions of blue in literature, art and song, for feelings on love and loss and grief, the pleasure of learning that bowerbirds collect only blue things… bus tickets, buttons, other birds’ feathers.

Nelson writes about blue without writing about blue, but using it to tap into emotions and connections that exist everywhere.

A deceivingly clever little book.

 

“I have been trying, for some time now, to find dignity in my loneliness. I have been finding this hard to do… It is easier, of course, to find dignity in ones’ solitude. Loneliness is solitude with a problem.”

“I have enjoyed telling people that I am writing a book about blue without actually doing it. Mostly what happens in such cases is that people give you stories or leads or gifts,f and then you can play with these things instead of with words. Over the past decade I have been given blue inks, paintings, postcards, dyes, bracelets, rocks, precious stones, watercolours, pigments, paperweights, goblets, and candies. I have been introduced to a man who had one of his front teeth replaced with lapis lazuli, solely because he loved the stoen, and to another who worships blue so devoutly tht he refuses to eat blue food and grows only blue and white flowers in his garen, which surrounds the blue ex-cathedral in which he lives…”

“Why blue? People ask me this question often. I never know how to respond We don’t get to chose what or whom we love, I want to say. We just don’t get to choose.”

 

If, like me, you love colours… here’s some.

Including blue.

 

 

today’s colour(s) — tiny island version

dsc00319Hanging out with the buoys.

 

dsc00310Street address as sculpture.

 

dsc04589Supper!

 

dsc00318French River.

 

dsc07367Too bad my suitcase wasn’t big enough.

 

dsc00256There is no reason NOT to paint your doorways green and purple.

 

dsc07366Hard to say goodbye to old friends with cute red wheels.

 

dsc07427Cabin art.

 

dsc00234Enlarge this to really revel in that blue blue…

 

dsc07369Again with the purple and green. An island thing? Can anyone explain?

 

dsc00313I don’t know that it’s possible to have lime green doors and be a pessimist, or even uncheerful.

 

dsc00255They could have painted this white but, cleverly, didn’t.

 

dsc00306Tables with view of post office. (Actually this is right next to the sweetest bookshop/cafe/bike shop just outside St. Peter’s.)

 

dsc00303Is laundry on a line not a thing to be besotted with?

 

dsc00316Too late. All gone.

More island colour here.

peace. and love. pass it on.

DSC06001You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by

And so, become yourself
Because the past is just a goodbye
DSC06002Teach your children well
Their father’s hell did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by
DSC06004Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you
DSC06008Teach your parents well
Their children’s hell will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by
DSC06007Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry

So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you

 

today’s colour(s) are brought to you by…

 

… mostly by the patio and a few other spaces in and around Boston Pizza in Lindsay where I recently had a thin crust goat cheese Portobello mushroom jalapeno pepper with K, who had, among other things, Genoa salami and pineapple, regular crust.

Pineapple!

Despite the horror of tropical fruit abuse we’ve somehow managed to remain friends for more than three decades.

This one’s for you, K.

DSC03310DSC03312DSC03314DSC03327DSC03322DSC03323DSC03326DSC03321DSC03333DSC03328DSC03331

Not enough yellow and black?

Here’s more.

And the colour index. Yes, there is an index.

today’s colour

Yellow-square

I haven’t posted any Today’s Colour for a while. Just haven’t been seeing things that way recently, but the other day, walking downtown for some breakfast, I notice freshly painted yellow lines in a parking lot. And in between those lines, a bright yellow car.

I take a picture but without a chip as it turns out. And so there’s no proof of anything.

Not of the lines or the car or the bright yellow hydrant nearby. Not even the mysterious metal pole next to it, in exactly the same shade.

Also no picture of the large yellow plastic bin on the porch of what used to be the town’s main library—a lovely Carnegie one—which is now home to a legal firm. Maybe the box is where you deposit gratuities. Or bribes. Or suggestions, delicately, or not so delicately, phrased.

There is no picture of the bag of salt resting in the doorway of a convenience store.

Today’s colour comes, instead, with a story. The Story of Yellow. Which begins in my bedroom when I was about seven or eight years old. Maybe I was four or five. Young enough anyway not to know what my favourite colour was when my dad suddenly appeared at my door hollering What’s your favourite colour??

Um….. um….

Welll???  (veins beginning to pop in his neck)

Yellow? (I have no idea why I said yellow.)

Turns out he was on his way to Canadian Tire.

The next thing I remember is my entire bedroom—four walls AND the ceiling—painted lemon yellow.

After that I was given yellow sweaters as gifts. A yellow sippy cup (so I guess I was younger than eight; we can only hope…), yellow toothbrush, hairbrush, bath towel, bathing suit. My first pair of jeans were yellow.

I grew up hating that colour. When I left home I turned my back on it, refused to be the yellow piece in a board game.

Then one day I came home to visit my mum and dad and my room had been wallpapered with pink and red roses. The ceiling was white. It was hideous and I loved it.

On a weekend in nineteen ninety something I painted the kitchen of my house yellow. The irony of this didn’t even register. The yellow tablecloth my mother had given me years ago, which I’d never used, I suddenly loved. I bought yellow tea towels, yellow bowls. I painted all the bedrooms various shades of pale pale jaune.

I have no idea what changed. I only know that it no longer bothers me to be the yellow piece in a board game.

Though if I had the choice, I’d probably pick orange.

Yellow-square

Pick a colour, any colour…