I’m not sitting in a darkened room
I am surrounded by Christmas lights,
because that is what we decided to do…
To celebrate Christmas, in this our saddest year
Our year of sorrow.
Our year of mourning.
And there are two trees. One with white lights, one with blue, green, red, and yellow lights.
And so I sit in the blue light of a laptop screen, recording my feelings.
Contemplating three small blank canvases… a possible triptych?
The color of sorrow. The color of life. The color of grief
I know that my faith is the color of red velvet…
Of a fleece cover too short to reach my feet… or give any warmth
And the dark cobalt blue of the moon rising in the east…
That is my sorrow, blurry through the grey fog…
Mixed in with the heavy coat of ice and the brown frozen mud
Yellow ochre and burnt umber are the rough colors of life
matte and dull and speckled with black and white
A thick coat sketches out my life, runny and wet…
And what color is the midnight scream of a mother
Who learned her youngest son is dead?
And what color is the echo of that grief nine months grown cold?
Is it the color of shattered glass?
Or the blood on bare feet?
Or the purple of a palm slammed down again and again…
And the color of numbness?
The grey of the smoke of wet wood trying to burn? Or the speckled grey-white of ashes?
Or the splotchy red of of cheeks and a nose irritated and raw–
The tracks of dried tears marked in salt?
And the color of loss?
The color of pain?
The color of “why?”
And do the colors bleed into a muddy mess…
Like a clamor with no rhythm or melody?
It is the putrid brown-green of rot and decay… of a heart grown cold and dead.
Or the rusty brown of dried blood.
Or the pale white of those bits of bones in his ashes?
Or do the colors stay bold and un mixed…
Like the tones of your skin?
Like the clouds, and the sky at sunset?
Or the water flowing over a cataract in the winter… the sunlight playing on ice forming on small branches.
Or like the bright but fading bits of wrapping paper and trash blowing along the freeway…
And clinging to the chain-link fences.
I have an empty palette… a box of ready paint.
Clean brushes and clean water.
To think about my grief
To think about color…
color and form and shape and composition.
And it will be what it is.