All or Nothing

Color [kuhl-er], noun: 1. something that comes from within.

In elementary school, I learned that combining pigments produces color from Mrs. Kranz the kooky art teacher. Suddenly blue, yellow, and red paints morphed into lilacs, ambers, and chartreuses as the acrid acrylic stench curled both my paint brush’s bristles and my own nose hair.  “Black,” Mrs. Kranz murmured, “uses all the pigments.”  I swirled all of them together and left a glossy trail of obsidian on my paper.  I had learned that black is everything, that black is all.   

In high school, I learned that the wavelength of light reflected off an object forms its coloring from Mr. Senger the kindly physics teacher.  “Black is the complete absence of any wavelength of light–now turn to page 126 for the equations,” Mr. Senger droned, harmonious with the buzz of the florescent lighting.  I dreamt about my slinky black bejeweled gown for my upcoming junior prom while I flipped through my textbook and scrawled calculations that left an inky shadow and occasional smudge on my hand for the rest of class.  I had learned that black is the absence of every wavelength of light, that black is nothing.

In college, I started listening to the Macklemore.  In Vipssana he rapped that “[he] uses [his] veins to create the color [he] paint[s] from…Delve into self until [his] heart becomes [his] paint brush.”  With beats that dance like flames and anguished lyricism, I can taste the iron coursing through my own blood when I listen to his music.  I definitively concluded that his sanguine pigment or wavelength or color stems from within.  But if he has an interior red, what is my autogenous hue?

No color strikes me as black does, as we are the same.  If I have something to say, it is blunt or unsaid.  When I start to read a book, I must read all of it regardless of how dull or enchanting I find it.  As the friend that cannot whisper, I only know how to communicate in silence or a thunderous voice.  Hell, if I attend a theme party, I employ method acting. The color black is every single pigment combined or the complete absence of any wavelength of light; black is all or nothing.

My affinity for the color black? I am all or nothing too.  It must come from within.

Note: Kranz is pronounced “crayons.”  Hard to fight fate with a name like that.


One thought on “All or Nothing

  1. Pingback: “The mountains are calling me, and I must go.” ~John Muir | Firefly by the River

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