Gray truly has been given a bum rap. Touted as the signature color of depression, or loss of sunshine on a cloudy day, it carries the accumulations of assigned characteristics that over the years have built up to a resounding “yuk!” It has been cast as something to avoid; the mess that’s made with too many watercolors mixed; the days lost when one is unable to go, go, go, do, do, do; the sadness that comes as one tries and tries again to make sense of overwhelming trauma or grief. Though worn by many folks as professional garb, one that maintains a certain air of objective business distance, there is still something intriguing about gray. In whatever form it might be.
I have heard there are 256 shades of gray. In the color scheme of things white is the absence of color, while black is the amalgamation of the whole color spectrum stirred together. What a treasure trove hides in black! All the colors mixed around just waiting to be found! Yet black does not call to me. I do not like the total absence of light. My life is only alive as I grow in the light. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to gray, and all its various shades. Do not get me wrong . . . color embellishes and brings joy to my life! Yet, the mystery of gray invites me in.
There is light there to see the colors if one would linger a bit. The gray of depression holds lessons for the sojourner that may be found nowhere else. Blues are deep, rich, waves that crescendo through one’s soul. Burgundy and red, sorrows poured out at Gethsemane. Greens a hidden birthplace of new life, a sure promise. When light is invited to join in those dark, dark places suddenly all that was black turns to shades of gray, then to color – muted perhaps – then more vibrant as one walks farther with the light. It really is a phenomenal experience, one that cannot be hurried or forced. Rich earth is revealed when the plow digs deep, allowing light to bring forth healing life. The process is worth it! The journey life changing!
Perhaps that is why I relish cloudy, rainy, snowy days. Days to take solace in blankets, a warm fireplace, and hot tea or cocoa. Time to let the demands of the bright shiny-day world fall away. With no excuse needed to hide away when I feel like it, those cloudy days beg me to stay, reflect, and grow. Like old barn wood, gray has a story to tell.
What colors do I see in those somber shades? Who has trod those misty, foggy paths? If suffering has been endured, was it overcome, and how? Where is the light coming from that illumines the darkness to make it gray? And while there where do I see Hope abounding? These are some of the thoughts I ponder about gray. For as my hair claims more and more silvery strands I want to embrace and enjoy the shades of gray I am in. Gray is not a death toll, it is merely many colors mixed together with varying reflections of light. Come on color! I know you’re in there! We can find each other and rest, reflect, mourn or dance til the sun shines again!
2 thoughts on “Love of Gray”
This was fantastic..it brought up within me tastes, feelings, textures, contrasts, values, thoughts and memories..I really enjoyed where your mind took me walking ! So ponder this..what is the speed of dark? Lol
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Thanks, Rick! I think you should write about the speed of dark, or better yet, paint it! I miss seeing your paintings online! 💞🥰