Why Grey is my favourite colour
Note: I haven’t written in months, I had wanted to do something like this for a while and decided it would be a good exercise to come back with.
When waves are just far enough out into the sea that they form ripples, (sometimes flopping over quite sensibly) that they can be noticed. They are not foaming, a thin transparent layer, icing the sand below. They are not crashing, spilling debris against the ships and stones. There is no eye of storm or sizzling heat, just a natural, salty, northern water. A fuzzy seascape, not quite clear, certainly not blue or green. This is not an ocean of art, but of artists. Grey: a realistic shade of the sea.
When the air surrounds you in all its humidity and yet, there is still a breeze. A raw silent snap of something uneasy passes through us and lulls with great confidence. When there is no recognizable current to remind us of the Earths complexity, it engulfs the land instead. It climbs trees, floats over lakes and soars further than we can see. At the lands end the shining beacon bursts through, proving the ashes innocence once and for all. That light can emerge, providing there is a lighthouse. Grey: the mist and fog of the English countryside.
When the hardest stone can entwine its secrets so softly, it becomes one with its own neutralized tone of forgetting. These are not our memories but the memories of the planet. As a child you may have blown on dandelions or wished on stars, anything that floats to mythical heights. Our memories go upwards too, either into our heads, or shown or saved in high places. Not the Earth. The Earth buries its secrets, knowing full well they may be discovered. Knowing that those are the only kinds of secrets worth keeping. We should take lessons from the Earth. Grey: Natural stones incubating fossils.
Waking up to find yourself unable to move for fear you might be frozen. No alarm clock, no amount of socks and no amount of clothes on a radiator can help you, but you manage to get up anyway. That first holy look through the glass, out into a freshly cleansed world. The wealth of opportunity exists within the philosophy of messing up its pristine condition. Perhaps the world has not been blanket bound, but frozen water drips instead and glazes the grass politely. Either way, once we begin to engage with it, the immaculate world is challenged. Though the wintry weather may start from perfection for your eyes, our commission on Earth is versatility. Grey: dirty snow and ice that is slowly thawing after being used for work or play.
Pressure may scaffold itself around my temples for a short time. The world suddenly feels broken, as if someone turned out a lamp your eyes had adjusted to. Nature has no time for vanity, although beauty is intrinsic. Humans could be similar. Enough is enough, drench the world to keep it alive regardless of whether it deserves it. There is no such theory as deserving to exist and should anything confuse deserved and desire, thunder shall be heard and the lightning shall reign down upon us. Then, the water shall march, possibly containing us to the gallows we built, or inviting us out to prove exactly who is righteous. Grey: when the clouds become angry and a storm is brewing.
With a fire lit and your feet up, you have forgotten the chill that bites when your toes curl over the doorway. Inside it’s still cold per se, your body does not feel the same freedoms it does when warm. Maybe mentally, probably materialistically and definitely medically. You have the time to stand back and unravel more about the world and your place within, when four walls conceal it. We become close knit with one another and fabricate new alliances out of thin air to accommodate the bleakness. Anything goes. Put on another layer of identity to aid the process, we must always be trying on new ideas until we find the perfect match. Grey: a thick woolly jumper on a cold day.
Looking outwards into my dingy hue of choice, you may notice that all is not what it seems. Treasure, of any degree can cause a spark within the shades of growth and confusion. All it takes is the perfect strength of beam to unmask something wondrous. To see it happen enchants as much as it blinds, leaving us all utterly spellbound. It may not be elegant, clear, refined or uncorrupted. Finding a pure source on Earth these days in near impossible, but that is not to say it cannot glimmer hope. Grey: when light transposes the colour to and from silver.
Facts are facts, but they are changeable. Currently, our communal knowledge stretches outside of the solar system. We know incredible details about subjects such as computers, communication, film making, things that did not even exist to be understood hundreds of years ago. Although we may argue that the science cannot possibly be disproved, there is something to be said for the unknown. How can we possibly know what the missing pieces hold if we do not know what they are yet. Mystery and conspiracy can get us so far. The smear of possibilities across an otherwise intact argument for reality is delicate. We may forcibly iron in the ways set before us, or we may continue to sully and tarnish the reputation of perceived fact. Grey: the smudge of ink on a fresh newspaper.
The idea of perfection is to have a point carved out from the outset. To bring together craftsmanship and imagination and use them to explain your most inner workings. Some are harder to read than others. Some depend on the person reading it. We all have a point to make, it is foolish to assume any given person wouldn’t. Do not allow barriers and boundaries to argue for them, we can be unforgiving. Likewise, do not allow barriers and boundaries to assume we have nothing to add. The real test is how we articulate ourselves to be understood. The artists fear is larger, one of not understanding themselves. How can we put forward a point if we do not fully understand it? We practice and work hard so we can fulfill the points we have to make. Grey: pencil sketches done lightly in case of mistakes.
Tea stained and crinkled images pasted and preserved into leather albums so they can live forever. Once, someone was poised and ready to tackle the subject of their wildest fancy. The spirit of the person will be permanently logged into this book. The cells on their fingers, the DNA that touched the adhesive that assembled the collage of a lifetime is suspended throughout eternity. The standard of the images may not be comparable to what we can create today, but despite living between such a confined colour pallet, a gradient is produced. Documented lives are everlasting. Grey: when black and white images are not quite over exposed enough to be white, but not quite dark enough to be black. Just enough light constructs the subject.
Grey, a colour of growth, confusion, doubt, warmth, and change. The innocence in the darkness, the passion through the bleak and the gradient that offers no certainty. Grey isn’t right or wrong and it doesn’t pretend to be.
Grey is my favourite colour.