Wednesday, August 27, 2008

color palettes

the sunrise this morning was subtle, the kind that sneaks up on and is past you almost before you realize what's happening. there was a faint, palest of pale pink tinge to the edges of the sky, and the few clouds that hung around the valley rim were barely touched by the pink, so lightly, so gently as to almost not be colored at all.
I was riding down the top portion of emigration canyon this morning when this display surrounded me. It is fairly wide open at that point, and you can see how the sun paints the eastern sky, and the resulting echoes across on the other edges of the giant tableau spread around me, pink dabs of color on small clumps of cloud.
I rode with bill this morning, and his experience was not the same as mine.
bill has a form of color-blindness, one that is quite common, I believe, in the male population. I was contemplating this as I looked at the sky and knew that what bill saw was different from what I saw. How can they test this? How do they know exactly what he sees? And how could he ever describe what he doesn't see? we have tried to talk about the sky before, and I will describe what I see, asking him if he sees the same thing. he will describe his view, and I take mine and subtract colors to imagine his.
this morning I conceptualized the perfect way to test someone's vision. (this falls under the category "How Susan Would Run the World.")
we show them a picture of something, like this morning's subtle sunrise, and give them blank white paper, a paint brush, and a set of at least 50 watercolors . . . and ask them to paint in the colors of what they see. not the shapes, no focus on form, just the colors, what they see, where.
I envision these beautiful pieces of paper covered with wide swaths of color, the pale blue of the upper sky, the grey-white of the clouds, the green of trees and yellow-tan of the dry hillside grass.
bill's painting would lack the pink, this I know. but his would be wildly filled with everything else, and he wouldn't know that the pink isn't there. his painting would be his truth, and would be every bit as beautiful to him as mine, blushed with pink, would be to me.
this morning was cold, the coldest morning yet. it was autumn-cold, no longer summer-cold, and the sky and air were both full of promise. promise that the approaching season will renew the earth, that the soon-to-come blanket of cold will revive all that the heat of summer exhausted, and that each sunrise will satisfy each one of us, however we see it.

No comments: