This I Believe

Kerry - Portland, Oregon
Entered on February 28, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: creativity

I believe in the power of color. Two colors in particular – blue and red. All shades of both. Coke-bottle blue, midnight blue, Caribbean blue, Bing cherry red, lipstick red, candy-apple red. This has nothing to do with politics.

A vivid memory from childhood is when my favorite Crayola, cornflower blue, melted in the sun as I sat coloring on the step – today, that shade of pale blue reminds me of a simpler time when my biggest worry was keeping my crayons cool. A lot has changed in the Crayola box since then – green-blue was replaced by cerulean, blue-gray was retired in favor of royal purple, torch red was added and then renamed scarlet.

As a teenager, I thought the best job in the world must be naming nail polish. Drumbeat Red. Cherries in the Snow. Ruby Slippers. So evocative, so sensual. So full of color. To this day, I will summarily reject a cosmetics purchase if the name isn’t quite right. And I still want that job.

When I got married, my gown was not a virginal white, but a shimmery, silvery, satiny blue. I carried a bouquet of Black Magic roses that were a red so dark and sexy that they were almost too sinful for church. My lipstick matched my flowers. And my bridesmaids, of course, wore blue.

A few years later, while pregnant with my child, I spent hours painting the nursery a light sky blue, and still hours more painting the walls of the master bedroom with six coats of rich, blood red. The metaphors were evident – the open sky’s the limit for my child, while my own space is a warm, cozy womb into which I can take refuge. When my baby was born and opened his eyes for the first time, I was actually relieved to see that they were blue – a luminous, clear, sparkly blue. “They might change color,” a nurse warned me. But I knew they wouldn’t.

I could read a book on color psychology to determine what drives this obsession, or make an appointment with a chromotherapist to have my mood adjusted, even consult an intuitive to have my wardrobe matched to my aura. But I prefer to simply surround myself with what I know has made me happy throughout my life. Blue and red.