Thursday, November 15, 2007
Red is the new Purple
Ok, not really. Purple still reigns supreme in the palace of colour, but I am starting to adore a fair few shades of red lately too. In fact, more than any other colour, RED keeps popping up to make itself known.
I think, even though I eschewed red in my younger days, I still secretly craved it. I have certainly collected a number of bright red friends over the years (opposites attract?). I am thinking here of Megan's super hot, and very stylish Crimson Queen St pants (do you still have them?). And Andrea's fiery red energetic personality! A lot of my nearest and dearest girl (and some guy) pals would have proudly proclaimed red as their favorite colour. I always thought they were strange for this, but I kept on being drawn to them anyway.
This year I turned 30, which for some is kind of devastating. For me it was actually wonder*full. Seriously! My 20s were a bit... rough. A lot of the time anyway. Some crazy bad stuff happened right before my 20s even got started, and I feel like even though I was all stoic and pulling "I am way stronger than this" faces, in reality I was pretty crushed. Well it's not really a big surprise, but anyway it was sort of a relief to be done with that mixed up decade of me. So I saw 30 as a fresh start, a whole brand new pilgrimage. I have (almost) never seen 30 as "old", which of course it isn't. Being in your 30s, to me, means being way more self-assured, being more self-loving, patient, thoughtful and kind. It means knowing yourself better. It means just a little bit more wisdom. It also means expanding my idea of who I think I am. Being less afraid of (blushing red-faced) embarrassment. Letting in things I didn't think I ever would. Which brings us back to red.
I didn't go directly from only liking bluey purples straight to loving carnation red. I started slowly. I started with pink. But then slowly some deeper, darker reds crept in, and surprisingly (to me) I let them stay. I got a red purse. I got my first pedicure, and they used red polish (they even put funny little swirls on my big toes!). I got a red car. More recently I got this Red Book,which has a very sparkle-y red message.
And it is starting to seem like having let in red, I now have to let in all kinds of other new things. Like cottage cheese. When I was little, just the thought of cottage cheese made me gag! Now, I love it. With pineapple. Yum. And spinach! How stomach-churning it used to be. Now my freezer and crisper are both stocked with leafy greens. Other stuff too... like whole new worlds of music. And prayer. In fact I am doing a big project for school all about prayer/meditation (fyi I may be writing to some of you out there for interviews and input, but that is for another post). Prayer is a totally new thing for me. Quite an alien concept. But I find myself approaching it all of sudden with a lot more openness and curiosity than ever before. I don't know who I am praying to exactly... well I have some ideas. My own higher god-self. Some kind of vague universal consciousness concept. The buzzing, snapping, electric totality of life on our homey planet. Also, Ganesh. His elephant head makes him somehow a lot more approachable than other gods. Anyway, I am doing it. In my own snail-hearted, skeptical way, but I am doing it. I am warming up to Red and I am praying. I wonder what other unexpected turning me upside-down twists are to come in my 30s? I wonder what crazy adventurous things will happen in my 40s???
*Note: Who else out there thinks that vermilion should totally be a shade of wormy caterpillar green and that chartreuse sounds more like a purpley, burgundy red? What happened there?
Photos: red lantern paper from Studio Paggy; ruddy kelp by Jeff Foott; nettle au rouge by Craig Knowles; ladybug party by John Grant; floppy poppies by Johner Images; two red pedicures by Andrea; Ganesh with crimson blossoms behind his flappy ears by Johner Images; red prayer by Stockbyte. All images (except the pedicures of course) found at Getty Images.