Red

I was challenged the other day to try to describe the color red in such a way that a person who has never seen color would understand it. At that moment a picture formed in my mind and so this is where it has led: 

An Essay on the Color Red

Red is a color, everyone knows it’s a color, even people who cannot see know there is a color called ‘red’. There are countless things that are red in this world: stop signs, cardinals, robins, and worms; blood, roses, carnations, cinnamon, and peppermint. Different candies are red, so are muscles, cheeks, lips and tomatoes. If you look for red, and can see, you will find it everywhere.

How do you tell someone about the color red? How do you explain what red is? Is it wavelengths of light? What if they don’t see light? Is it a sound, a touch, a feeling, a taste? Yes. But what is red? Red can be fierce like a lion’s roar, but a lion isn’t red. Red can also be anger or love. How about those? 

Have you ever been so mad, so absolutely speechless and angry that you couldn’t think straight? That your head hurt? Your forehead crinkled? You felt so pent up inside, wanting to scream? If you try screaming nothing comes out because you don’t even have words to say, or you have too many words to spit out at once? Have you been so livid that everything in your body tenses, your heart races, your ears hear a rushing sound as blood races by them? If you could release it all in one giant jolt, something or someone would die? That kind of anger is red.

Have you ever felt so in love that your heart was about to burst? You couldn’t think of a single negative thing no matter what? If someone were to make you trip and fall you would just hop back up on your feet, brush yourself off and keep on going? You keep a smile on your face knowing that life has so much to live for. There’s something magical going on in your life and you have someone to share it with you. Have you ever felt your cheeks get warm after the brush of your lover’s lips on yours? Felt the extra beat in your chest as your heart jumps with excitement? That’s red also.

But how does it feel? Can you touch red and know it? I’m certain you already have. Have you ever skinned your knee when you were playing as a child just to have your hand brush against it and come back wet and warm? Blood. Blood is also red. Blood is what rushes to your face to make you blush, making your cheeks warm with love. Blushing also comes from being embarrassed. Blood provides life to you and so here red is life.

Have you ever smelled a rose, touched it’s silky petals and then grasp its stem too hard? The thorns force blood to pour from your palm. A gentle touch of the petals, though, is like a butterfly caressing your cheek? Red. Roses are sometimes red.

Sound though? Can you hear red? Listen to a child cry, feel her hot breath on your face. Listen to her screaming bloody murder because she didn’t get what she wanted, or stubbed her toe. Maybe somebody pinched her or there’s something wrong and she doesn’t know what to say. Hot and sweaty from screaming. She’s red. Red with anger and discomfort. Her mouth is red, cheeks are red, lips are red. That’s red. What about the hot, angry child that can’t have his way? The temper tantrum in the middle of the store? He can’t have his candy? That’s red too.

Red is like Christmas sometimes, only sometimes. It’s not the smell of the pines. It’s the smell of the candy canes, the peppermint or cinnamon hanging on the tree. That’s red. It’s mixed with other colors sometimes. But red is definitely cinnamony and pepperminty too, like a hot chocolate with a candy swirled in the middle. The chocolate, that’s not red, but the candy is. 

Red. How do I describe red when it changes so much? The truth is colors change too. There’s different kinds of red. There’s different meanings for red, and different colors of red too. I can’t explain it all, I can only share with you some of the things that are red. Like the railway arms blocking cars from crossing a train track, they’re red. If you are in the car, and the car comes to a screeching halt, stops in the middle of the road and you don’t know why. Sometimes that’s red, because red is what we use for danger. It’s also what we put on stop signs. It is used as a warning meaning be careful. No, not careful, it means danger. Yellow means be careful, but this isn’t about yellow, this is about red. 

What is red? It’s what you make it. Even those who see red, see it differently. Sometimes, even if we can see red, we argue. Is it this kind of red? Or is it that kind of red? If you want to argue over which kind of red it is you’re welcome to do that too. Because sometimes red has other colors mixed in and it’s not quite so red anymore, but it still looks red. 

Red can be spicy like a chili pepper, or itchy like a rash. It can squish between your teeth like a tomato or crunch like an apple. It can signal danger, anger, and love all at the same time. It can feel like a caress or a stab from the same rose. It is both good and bad, hot and cold, sweet and spicy, noisy and quiet. It is what ever you choose to make of it. 

I’ve done a particularly awful job of describing a color to someone who has no color in their life. But hopefully, it helps, just a little.

thank you for reading,

me

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Don’t sin in your anger.

Ephesians 4:26 – “In your anger, do not sin.”

I’m angry, actually furious.  My son says “remember, Mom, it’s hard to stay angry when you say ‘bubbles’.”  I love that boy so much my heart aches for him.  His father and I have not yet completed the separation of property and so I am angry.  I am reminded, yet again, why I do not want to be with him.  I am reminded again of his pettiness and his nastiness.  I am reminded again of how so much better our lives are now that we don’t have to deal with him on a daily basis.  I am reminded again how much I truly have.  I’ve learned that when you try to make sense of the nonsensical that all you do is drive yourself crazy.  You cannot make something be logical when it is done counter to logic.  I’ve tried to understand that man for years, and each time I just feel even more crazy.  We must be different species.  Why would a man prefer to make his children’s mom suffer and as such cause his children to suffer just to get even?  Why would a man rather lose his relationships with his children than admit that he needs to step up?  How can a man be so petty, so self-centered?  There is no answer.

I can understand one thing, though.  He did not change, will not change, nor will he ever change.  This is OK.  His life is wrapped up in mine because of our children but our children will grow and will learn on their own how to be with him.  For me, though?  I would love to maintain ‘no contact’ as much as possible.  I am able to do this most of the time. Once I make it through the property division and alimony I expect there will be even less contact.  In addition, once the children are old enough I can write him out of my life entirely. He will be merely an annoyance and nothing more.  Now, to place him in the annoying category rather than the angry category. “Bubbles.”  Yup, makes me smile.

Each time something comes up like this I wonder how on earth I will manage.  My anger consumes me for a time and I feel lost and afraid, as if I were still in his grasp.  I feel as if he is feeding on my life and literally sucking my energy, my will to live and fight, right out of my bones.  Then, like now, I start to despise myself for letting him affect me so.  I begin to think how do I get out of this mood.  How do I keep him from having this effect?  The quiet voice inside of me then reminds me that I am stronger than I’ve ever been and that I may need to feed my strength better by taking care of myself better.  It always comes back to taking better care of myself.  When I am tired, or over drawn, or not taking breaks, or not eating right… then I am more easily swayed, and his grasp begins to take hold again.

What then should I do, could I do, this time?  First, I decided to write this post.  Second, food.  Third, after eating I will sit and quietly read a book and my mind will finally be able to put him back in his little box to deal with later.  I will take charge of taking care of myself because if I don’t then I won’t live.  There is no one else responsible for me but me.

I share this with you so that you may know that when dealing with life, it is important to take each day one at a time.  When recovering from abuse, abortion, divorce or anything else, it is important to take care of yourself.  Remember to be gentle with yourself, love yourself.  You deserve it.

Thank you for reading,

me

PS. Bubbles. 😀

Trust Your Heart

Trust your heart it sees things your brain refuses to see. Listen to your heart it knows things your brain doesn’t know. Your brain only sees so much, but your heart fills in all the gaps. Trust yourself. Trust what you feel. Understand that your brain doesn’t see it all, doesn’t know everything. Sometimes it tells the truth when your brain has been lying, especially if you’ve been lying to yourself for years.

You are going to be okay. You are already okay. You are already perfectly imperfect for God has made you so. God has made you whole. You are meant to be amazing for you were created by the Creator of everything. Playing small just diminishes your value. Learn to love. Trust your heart.

I started thinking, I started realizing, I have not forgiven myself. I have been taking responsibility for everything in my life.  A good thing somewhat but not so good if it includes from the time I was born.  Good if I gave equal credence to the good as the bad, maybe.  Bad, though, if I fail to recognize outside influences, forces for which I had absolutely no control.  I have been punishing myself; either by accepting punishment, or by encouraging punishment because I did not see that I had value.

But I do have value. I am worth it. I am an amazing person. I have so much love to give. I have hope. I am smart and beautiful. I deserve to have good things. I deserve to be forgiven and I did not deserve to do this alone. I have to talk, not for you but for me. I don’t know how, I do, I guess. Just open my mouth and start talking, but I’m not ready. I don’t know what will make me ready. I may never be ready. What I do know is true, is that I can continue to hurt and I can continue to feel this and I can continue to punish myself until the day I die; or I can deal with this, I can face my demons, confront my past, and live.

I can live without the blame.  I can allow myself to feel anger and hate and still be OK.  I can allow myself to experience my feelings so that they do not brew.  I can quit being numb and allow myself to experience life, the good and the bad.  I actually felt anger the other day that was righteous rather than reactive. I actually got angry. I allowed myself to truly feel and it hurt.  But for once I didn’t blame myself, the first time. When I didn’t blame myself I had a tremendous amount of peace. This peace is new and weird and odd and uncomfortable, but not bad. It’s just different. It’s a different feeling than I’ve ever had that I can remember. I’ve had moments of peace, where I could forget things, but this peace has me remembering at the same time. That’s new. I don’t think I have felt this before. I can’t remember, anyways.

As I begin another day, I pray that I can allow myself to feel the entire spectrum of feelings that come to me.  I am finally learning to cry again and experience life again.  Allowing myself to be true to my heart helps me to love my babies more deeply and will ultimately help me to be the person that I dream of being.

thank you for reading,

me