Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Releasing those unexpected blues

Our younger daughter flew home from college yesterday, so we took flowers with us when we picked her up from the airport. We just missed the 5:30 ferry back to Bainbridge, so I whiled away the time waiting for the 6:20 trying out my camera's supermacro lens (did I remember to thank my friend Barbara who explained how it worked?) on the flowers we'd brought.

Don't you love the cat's eyes in this picture? It's funny -- I've never liked this particular flower all that much (I'm not all that partial to yellow and orange, though my daughter seems to enjoy them) but it sure was fun to photograph -- who knew there were also blues in there!

But of course there are blues everywhere -- we just don't always see them. I learned just this week from a painter friend that there was a time when only the wealthiest painters could afford to use blue pigment in their paintings, because the only blue available was from ground up lapis lazuli, and bitterly expensive. I wonder if that's why we think of life in the old days as somewhat colorless -- rather like life in the 30's must have been black and white, because all those old movies are black and white? It doesn't mean the skies weren't blue -- it just means they weren't able to depict them that way.

For some reason this makes me think of an unfortunate interaction I had with my daughter this morning. She has loved college this year, and I knew leaving would be hard. So I asked in a phone conversation a few weeks back if she was having trouble with all the farewell conversations, all the last things that she was doing with all these dear friends she has acquired. And she explained it was just too depressing to look at things that way, so she was ignoring the fact that everything was coming to an end.

I suggested at the time that it might make more sense to let the sadness emerge in little bits and deal with it on the spot so it didn't all pile up at the end, but she just couldn't face it. So of course, now that she's safe at home, the combined pressure of all those unacknowledged goodbyes grew unbearable, and this morning she became -- as she often does after a leavetaking -- an emotional volcano, exploding suddenly and spewing all that pentup angst (which, of course, having been allowed to ferment so long, has a rather venomous toxic quality) all over both her parents. Those blues were in there, you see, and, unacknowledged, they had gone through the sort of purple grape stage and emerged as a rather violent red.

Maybe that's why I whined about the color change on Image and Spirit -- it went from white to red yesterday -- and it actually made me anxious: how would all my blues and greens and purples look on that red background? Fortunately the blog's owner had encouraged me to speak up if I had concerns, so I did, and she sweetly explained that for HER red is a CELEBRATORY color, and she had changed to red in celebration of my joining the blog. But then she even MORE sweetly changed the colors for me! And though I feel a little guilty about having whined, I'm SO GLAD it's not red anymore.

See? I let my blues out when they happened instead of letting them fester, and she was so nice about it! And now -- having spent much of my day worrying about how to defuse a situation in my neighborhood -- I see that that's probably the best way to do it. Be honest, let the blues out a little at a time, and then maybe they won't turn into a volcano that annihilates us all.


I AM ROSE said...

Somehow I felt the need to post a comment today. Perhaps it's the angst of our youngest son, or just to show, you'll not alone.
Since reading your blog this morning the song "Blue Sky", keeps comimg in and out of my head. Maybe the blue is just tanted for awhile, but that's ok. On Sunday here, the sky was very grey indeed, but every now and then a patch of blue would peak through. The clouds were so spectacular, that it reminded me once again, how great it is just, breathe in the beauty that abounds us everyday.
In Love.

altar ego said...

I wish it were as easy as making the suggestion, as you did with your daughter. At the moment we are dealing with two lives who are in the habit of penting up blues-- me-thinks the daughter learned from her father--the younger of which has finally found the courage to release hers. Trouble is, neither is skilled in dealing with such release. Offering suggestions or perspective or even support falls on hearts burdened by so much baggage that they don't know how to receive love. Sad, sad, sad... I so wish that wisdom could be shared more easily.

Thanks for the post. It has shed some additional light on the situation here.