As my mind goes, I have helicopter thoughts, one trail swirling into another and before you know it, I’m in a forest of fabulous pontificating. My phone dinged around midnight, reminding me to silence it, rather like being woken up in a hospital to take your sleeping pill, but by then? I was awake and flying in my helicopter. I wrapped myself up in warm fluffy purple and padded into my kitchen, quiet and content, not fighting against the wakefulness. These times? They’ve become a gift to me; uncluttered, settling.
I briefly turned on public television and watched A Year in Space with astronaut Scott Kelly, which made me wonder how his brother’s wife, former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was doing, after being shot in the head 4 years back, which sent me to google. She has made huge strides, it turns out, and the question was asked. Do you find yourself still pushing to get back the ‘old Gabby’? There was a pause. “The new Gabby,” and it cut to a video clip of her walking with a cane, her right side much weaker than her left. But her humor, her push forward perspective on point. And naturally (??) , from there I found an interview with singer Linda Ronstadt talking about her life after parkinson’s disease and how it has silenced her career. “I just don’t have the colors in my paintbox anymore.” And there she had me. What captivating words.
The world is full of color. So are people. So are you. The thing is, a paintbox has just so much color in it. The palette is limited. And so is your time. There will be the day when the colors can’t quite be found anymore like before, when your hand can’t hold the brush steady. Seize hold now, while the rainbow is available, even those mixed with the dark rain. Paint it true and honest, paint it noble and blend it willing with others. But paint.
I pass out candy to kids at school. All colors. It is a small token, full of sugar. I get that. But yesterday, one boy came back to me. “Some kid told me you give me things because you feel bad for me.” The sun went down in the room for a minute. No. I do it because I love you. Because I want to encourage you to paint your canvas while you can. Because I don’t want you to put your brush down too soon. I give you things because that’s me…..painting my own picture and hoping you’ll paint yours back.
“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and its ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses.”–Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
Coloris Corripiunt! Seize the color!