Friday, March 4, 2011

A Burst of Color

The economic mood matches wide swathes of American landscape: brown, grey, invisible under stubborn mounds of snow, dormant. At one point, being dormant means quiet growth deep down, unseen but stirring. Every winter, though, dormancy becomes stale, and we grow impatient for signs of life. We need a burst of color.

In the Southern climate I peek out at from my window, there are a few early daffodils flaunting their arrival, like the first stars to step out onto the red carpet, eager. Down the street a - dogwood? - is wearing a beautiful gown of pink and white, fluffy and elegant and romantic, a sure classic.

But the rest of the world waits, because at this time in winter - even though our lifetimes ingrain in us the truth of spring - at this time in winter, it seems spring will never come again. An Ecclesiastical thought, perhaps, but it is difficult in frost and ice and death to believe that maybe, this year, Aslan will be on the move. We wait for a burst of technicolor, an Oz for the faith that awakens us from black and white Kansas.

You can't own color, you know. You can own red blankets or green houseplants or yellow cushions or purple paint, but you can't own color. You can create with it and arrange it and display it, but no one owns periwinkle. We receive color, as John the Revelator did, attempting to describe as best he knew how the Oz of the senses, in terms of lapis lazuli and pearl and gold and ruby - colors that hold light and shine them back in your face.

Thank you, God, for color.
For pale yellow banana,
Deep teal lake bottoms,
Flirtatious pink blossoms,
Rowdy orange bursts.

Thank you, God, for color -
when gloom clouds our eyes,
sadness weighs our faces,
bad news hunches our shoulders,
weariness stills our hands.

Thank you, God, for color -
That wakes our sepia dreams,
That displays the truth of spring,
That calls us to create,
That welcomes us to heaven.

"Firmament II" by Angela Nicole Lister,


vanilla said...

Fantastic job, Elizabeth. You gave color to our yearning for the color of Spring, a bit of brightening of our day just before the dawn! You worked in Solomon, Lewis, Baum and John the Revelator, then concluded with a beautiful poetic prayer. Indeed, Thank God for Color!

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