Search This Blog

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gray Saturday: Healing with Colors & Finding Balance

I have spent the last couple of days reading "Melvin's Balloons" to kids and talking about emotions and colors. If you don't know Melvin- check out my website at or my publisher's site at It's always both fun and enlightening to talk to kids about how they feel. So today, colors are still on my mind. My friend who sees days as a particular color; sees Saturday as gray. And it did feel gray to me this morning.

The color gray kind of gets a bad rap and I don't think that's fair. Gray is sometimes seen as depression or sadness. I think it's something different. When I read to kids we often end up talking a lot about mixing colors, and gray is the combination of black and white. For that reason, I've always been a fan of gray. I don't see much as black or white and have always seen the "shaded" side of arguments and something in between the two extremes. There is a streak of agrimony in me (see the blog entry from December 29th), so I suppose some of this is finding the middle ground and therefore avoiding conflict, but I have always found "extremes" rather restricting and perhaps short sighted. For this reason, I prefer to think of gray as representing balance- that perfect position between two directions, like Billy the cat in today's picture.

The color black is said to represent mystery, where things are hidden. It's also absorptive- it is the absorption of all other colors in the spectrum. When all of them are combined together, it's hard to differentiate between them. This is experienced on a dark moonless night. You know the grass is still as green as it was in the daytime and yet- you can't see that. The same is true if you absorbed everyone else's opinions, energy and thoughts. It becomes difficult to find yourself any more and differentiate the way you feel.

White on the other hand, is the opposite extreme. It is said to be the ultimate luminescence. It represents purity, cleanliness and pristine order. White is the absence of color. While in some ways that may be the ultimate goal- to be connected to a higher level- it isn't very "human" and doesn't always work well on earth.

Black is often worn for protection and can be used when you want to keep things to yourself- remain a mystery, hidden from the world. Nina Ashby, in "Simply Color Therapy", describes black as being favored by both clergy and classical musicians in their choice of uniform, to represent the mystery of life. She descirbes it as covering up "lumps and bumps of life, and as it is all-absorbing, if offers a message of special knowledge or hidden power."

White is often worn by the medical profession in their uniforms. Ashby explains this may be because white portrays a god-like, untouchable message that perhaps conveys trust. It is also worn by catering staff and culinary artists to send the message of cleanliness and pristine order.

So... if you combine those two extremes of black and white you come up with gray. In gray, a bit of yourself is revealed and you are able to absorb some energy from your environment and the people around you but in moderation. You also retain some purity, cleanliness and a sense of godliness.

Personally, I've never had anything either black or pure white last very long. A few washes and it either fades or darkens and I end up with gray anyway. The only way to really keep black is to not wash anything out of it, and the only way to keep white looking the same is to add a harsh chemicalto the wash and actually damage the fabric. Hmmm... I feel better when things are grayed a bit- less pressure to maintain an image I really can't.

Gray is the color of smoke. Gray suits are favored by bureaucrats and managers as a more neutral color than black or white. Nina Ashby reports it's a good color to wear during negotiations especially if you don't want to appear threatening.

So back to Saturday.... It seems to me that Saturday is a nice relaxed balanced day. It's in no way an extreme anything. I can make it what I want to and I can just "be". Saturday isn't threatening or demanding. No big image to keep up with. Saturday strikes a nice balance between a hectic work week and the "do no work" rules that used to (and for some still do) surround Sunday in it's effort to remain pure.

I welcome the grayness of Saturday and all it represents. If I want to feel more balance in my life, I'll turn to gray for some color therapy. To me at least, gray isn't sad or neutral- it's balanced, open, relaxed and "just is": a perfect Saturday!

No comments:

Post a Comment