Blue

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Blue. Blue when worn by a witness in court inspires trust. Blue is the colour of truth. Blue skies are a symbol of good fortune. It is also a part of the imaginative process. We blue skied until we came up with an idea or a solution.

Yet we also have the blues. We feel blue. It is the colour of depression and sadness. Picasso had his blue period. Was he depressed, seeking the truth, freeing his imagination to find better times?

Or did he just get a deal on blue paint? Don’t laugh. I know lots of artists who do exactly that. The availability of materials driving the creative process.

That’s the nice thing about writing. Words are always there for you; picking the right ones is the hard part. As for ideas — well, we get our ideas from CostCo by the job lot. No shortage there. Ideas are cheap as borsch. So the next time you tell a writer that you have a great idea for a book, don’t be surprised if he snorts in derision. Maybe even turns his back on you with an elaborate shrug. Ideas I got millions of them; books not so much.

But back to blue.

I was struck by the power of blue as a pure experience while visiting the modern art museum in Paris (the Pompidou Centre). There was a painting of monochromatic blue at the tail end of an exhibit of post WWII artists. The artist, who was also a chemist of sorts, had made the paint himself. It was so pure that it only reflected a single frequency of light. Blue light. That’s right; paint is not the colour it appears, it is the colour it reflects. Twist your head around that — everything you look at is really the spectral opposite of what you see.

In any case this painting was so blue that my digital camera couldn’t focus on it. Couldn’t actually capture its purity, the photos simply weren’t right. But they were beautiful. At least I think so.

So I quite often look at them. Especially when I’m feeling blue. They remind me of better times both behind me and ahead. They generate ideas. They make me feel as if some larger truth is there waiting to be discovered. These pure colours — that are mere reflections (to reflect= to think deeply on something) of something else, make me think that life is beautiful.

Blue skies…. and it is.

And that is ten minutes.

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