Monday, August 17, 2009

Colors - Third Post, and Almost the Final One

It will probably be no surprise to long-time readers of this blog, although it was to me (isn't that always the way?), that when I began to look at the colors I like now, the words that popped up in the various descriptions were along the lines of retreat and reflective.

Some synonyms for retreat (as a noun), thanks to

haven, hermitage, hideaway, hiding place, port, privacy, refuge, retirement, safe house, safe place, sanctuary, seclusion, security, shelter, solitude . . .

and for
reflective, via its synonym contemplative:

cogitative, introspective, lost, meditative, musing, pensive, pondering, ruminative, speculative, thoughtful

The colors ~ all variants on blues and greens and purples, all the colors of the ocean which you may not fully realize, if you haven't stared at is as often as and long and in as many places as I have, offers an endless variation of hue. What I don't know (and as Ruth wisely pointed out in the comments below, I should take my time (even if finances did not mandate a leisurely pace!)) is: do I mean pale tones, colors reflecting the beginning and end of the day? Icier tones indicating a certain degree of reticence and withdrawal? Or do I mean the deeper jewel tones, the ones that work best for my wardrobe?

Wardrobes and homes are different venues for color, of course. Despite my (originally) dark hair and eyes, my skin is quite pale, and so deep colors rather than washed out tones look much better on me. (My daughter's skin is pale as well, but her blue eyes and blond hair practically mandate pastels.) I'm not in the least enamoured of today's multi-print styles; my idea of a great look is something more a la Kate Hepburn ~ tailored black trousers and a cobalt blue shirt.
For my home, though ~ I'm not sure. As I was reading blogs the other day, this wonderful mix of colors on Mary Beth's blog caught my eye and I thought: the perfect interior. Then I thought: too much. Maybe the perfect interior would be a paler version of same, with the deeper colors for accents via glass and artwork and the occasional pillow or even chair.

In the everything-is-connected department, the cooler, icier, paler colors are clearly reflective of my personal life and movement toward ministry. The former hostess of Christmas dinners for 40 is no more; these days, I struggle mightily in conversations involving more than a few people (and I say some of the most astonishingly inappropriate things when I get confused about the tenor of the group), but I do love to spend time with a (very few at a time) friends. The preacher and teacher and public speaker are still here, but I am told that I am very present to people one-on-one in a way that I think is not possible for me, at least not now, from the front of a sanctuary or meeting room, and so I feel a definite move toward a focus on chaplaincy and spiritual direction manifesting itself.

And so, I think that I am seeing our home more as a place of refuge and reflection, as a place for quiet conversation and small and simple gatherings, for others as well as our family, than as the place through which soccer players tromped and in which multiple chefs spread massive Christmas buffets. Those days were wonderful, but we have been quite changed, and perhaps what we have to share has as well.

(Illustrative colors courtesy of the Atlantic Ocean off Iona.)


Jennifer said...

I have loved thinking about colors with you, and have very much enjoyed hearing how your vocation is becoming clearer to you.
These are shimmering jewels of writing.
Thank you!

Kathryn J said...

I don't like to think of that person as no more. Yes you are changed but we are all products of our experiences and that person was and therefore is part of you.

Maybe I need to go back to just thinking about color - blues, greens, and purples are good. The beach is better - then I don't have to think at all.

Stratoz said...

having a hard time with words. so, hello.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Maybe if you ask God or the universe or your inner self, the right colors will find their way to you and all you will have to do is recognize them. That's often what happens to me when I am contemplating change.