Get your Blue on, a beautiful blue building in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 2008, photos © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.
Blue is one of my favorite colors. Calm, reflective. Blue is the color I painted my writing room. Blue (like green) reminds me of nature—the heavens and the seas.
(Some languages don’t differentiate between blue and green. In Vietnamese, for example, the word for both tree and sky is the same—xanh.)
In the ancient city of Hoi An, Vietnam, I saw shades of blue everywhere. There was the periwinkle blue of a wall that when I stopped in front of it to wait for traffic, held me in its depth. There was the bright blue-green interior of the restaurant where we ate that soothed, like turquoise water against white sand, in an almost illogical way (being as how the waves in the nearby South China Sea churned gray and the blue-green walls jolted my senses).
Blue doors, blue walls, blue windows. Blue against cheerful yellows and oranges. Blue against blue.
Blue on blue, heartache on heartache.
Something about Hoi An reminded me of towns I’ve been before. I think of Havana, Cuba, or Tonalá, México. People who use such bright color—color that fades over time and becomes all the more profound (as if it has seeped into the skin)—are vibrant people, I think. They are creators, artists, philosophers.
If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue.
Blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
Light blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness. Dark blue represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness.
~from Color Wheel Pro
During the holidays I often feel blue. I have a friend who says it’s normal to be sad during Christmas; the Christmases of one’s adulthood will never measure up to those of one’s youth. Never the same sense of anticipation. Never the same thrill.
Many a holiday season I feel lethargic, overwhelmed by the thought of all things I could and should be doing. Cards, decorations, baking. I would love to make my own wreath this year, the kind that Martha Stewart and all those so-called Women’s magazines make seem so simple and so fulfilling.
I once saw a wreath in shades of cornflower blue in Taos. That would be pretty. Little berries. Not blueberries, but blue berries. For once, a wreath that shows my inside out.
Years ago I would have pushed myself to do it all. I even used to stamp my own Christmas wrapping paper with homemade potato cut stamps. BK. Before Kids.
The past several years I’ve taken the weight of those particular accomplishments off my shoulders. I doubt I’ll get out my cards this season, and while I feel a pang of guilt over the whole thing (and the concern that those who send me cards will eventually cross me off their lists), I also tell myself that it is OK. After all, I just came back from a trip abroad. Although, I don’t need an excuse, do I?
In New Mexico, as in other places, a blue window frame, door frame, or portal keeps evil spirits from entering a dwelling. The color is associated with Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary (her mantle is blue) and the moradas of the Penitentes.
The turquoise stone, important in many native cultures and Buddhism, is believed to assure safe journey. When worn in the ear, turquoise is said prevent reincarnation as a donkey, and when found, it brings good luck. (I’ll have to tell my girls, as they regularly pan for and discover turquoise in the Rio Grande.)
In some cultures, the blue bead wards off the evil eye. The blue bead can be seen hanging from a rear view mirror, around one’s neck, or like mistletoe in the doorway.
I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.
Blue signifieth divine contemplation. In moral virtues, it signifieth godliness of conversation, and is the colour of air, attributed to celestial persons, whose contemplations have been about divine things…
~Sylvanus Morgan, 1661
I beseech you, Blessed Medicine Guru,
Whose sky-colored, holy body of lapis lazuli
Signifies omniscient wisdom and compassion
As vast as limitless space,
Please grant me your blessings.
~from the Medicine Tantra
Today it snowed almost all day. A white out—low clouds and flurries that finally started to stick by dark. Not a speck of blue to be found, save for the small dot growing (ever so slowly, like ancient moss) inside my heart.