Got the lonelies last night. They crept in from the shadows and I think, planned to take up permanent residence. I chased them away with colors and music. Funny thing is, the colors and the music may have been the very things that allowed them to separate themselves from the shadows to begin with. Actually allowed them to take on their distinctive definition long enough to be recognized and therefore dealt with.
I am expecting company later today, so between cleaning up and straightening out, I was periodically experimenting with a new design and wanted to do it in black and white with different shades of gray. How’s that for pulling out the shadows? That isn’t what I was aiming at, but down deep, I truly believe that all things are connected.
Had gone shopping with my sister and picked up a new set of cheap pastel pens that I wanted to play with. But also found a pen with white ink and purchased that as well. Came home and settled in to do the design, only to find that the white wasn’t really white, but a subtle shade of very light grayish beige. Was disappointed but decided to just leave the white paper shine through instead. And it worked.
Meanwhile, I have slowly been creating a second play list of music. Taking my time, choosing songs on memory and whim. Added a few more and then decided to listen to it while I was finishing up that very intricate design. That’s when the lonelies hit, and hit hard. I let them. Decided not to fight with the emotions, just let them rise and do their thing.
Granted, it got a bit difficult to keep the colors between the lines when they were being blurred by tears. No horrible sobbing, just soft quiet acknowledgment that things have changed, and are no longer the way they used to be. The music brought up memories of years past, and I let them rise and play themselves out right along with the feelings.
Finished the black and white design, ate some dinner, and then reached for a different book of designs and possibilities. These designs are far less intricate and would allow me to play with those new pastels I had purchased. It went very quickly. There was little hesitation on my part, the colors seemed to know exactly where they were going and felt as though they were leaping into my hands to do their thing without a whole lot of thought or decision making.
That, by the way, is a wonderful experience, akin to picking up a pen and writing an entire poem in ten or fifteen minutes. One that doesn’t need much rewriting, but stands alone almost as if born full-grown. And meanwhile, the songs kept playing in the background. All 75 of them.
It is as diverse and eclectic as that first play list I mentioned months ago (see Roll On 18 Wheeler, from 9/13/08). The Beatles, John Denver, Carly Simon with James Taylor, more of the Doobie Brothers, and even a bit of R.E.M., as well as Barbra Striesand, Don McLean, the Mamas and the Papas, The Fifth Dimension, and Gordon Lightfoot, Don Williams, Bryan Adams, and more. Am planning on some Willie Nelson and maybe even a bit of Johnny Cash.
As I listened, I laid down colors: purple, blue, green with a central spectrum that also included yellow, orange, red, and my new brick white. Yes, the music brought up various memories, but the colors brought up other things. Each color is a symbol. Purple speaks to personal power, blue to wisdom and knowledge, and green to growth. And it is those very things that resolved the issue of loneliness I had been drifting and floating though and within.
No life, including my own, is simply black and white with shades of gray. Just as music can alter ones present mood and the track of ones memories, colors can alter ones perspective as well. Yes, I live alone, but alone does not have to mean lonely. I have the ability, the personal power to change that reality. I do have company coming today. One an old and dear friend, another someone new and needing to be met and interacted with. Therein, lie possibilities for growth and the knowledge that both feeds that growth and nurtures even more.
I didn’t quite finish the new picture. I simply got tired and heard the play
list start over again. But, I did go to bed satisfied with my experience and a much brighter outlook for today. Loneliness is a reality that enters each of our lives. We can choose to color it black and white with shades of gray, or deal with it using our own personal power and the knowledge we have gained by living each colored moment of our lives.
Fighting our feelings, struggling against them, only seems to lodge them even deeper into our psyches. Letting them flow like music and color allows them their much needed expression, but also allows us to resolve the issues to which they speak. And that, I believe, is a good use of time, music, and color.