“The Spirit of Color” – An Exercise in Surreal Prose


I recently found a post that asked somebody to describe the color Red without ever saying the word. Somebody responded to the challenge with a beautiful and engaging series of descriptors. Having been inspired by this I emulated the same challenge using the colors Red, Blue, Green, Black, and White.  I refrained from using any examples for Red from the original post, so it was easily the most difficult.  Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun and hope you enjoy.


It’s the heat in your face when preparing to confess love for the first time, and it’s the buzzing pressure within your chest when you’re angry, because you held in the words.  It’s the marks left on your back when protecting someone from danger.  It’s the throttle in your skull after a night of screaming, and the pressure of another hand in yours, holding tightly, either for safety or desire.  It’s the mark her lips left on your cheek.  When you finally fight back, it’s on your knuckles.  It’s the blood of all men.  It hurts, it heals, it lusts, it loves, it gives you power when you knew you didn’t have any more.

Perhaps it’s the warmth of a hug that means something.


It’s emerging for air after too long beneath the water.  It’s a piano in minor key.  It’s the equality found in gentle rainfall.  It’s the openness of a traveling wind.  It’s sitting down, crossing your legs, and simply being there to listen.  It’s a reaffirming hand on your shoulder.  It’s somebody’s voice when they talk about the stars.  It’s remembering days gone by.  It’s calm in chaos.  It’s a push of the sea against your body.

When you receive insult, it’s the wisdom that tenderly guides away from retaliation.


It’s an excited puppy’s kisses.  When you walk through nature, it’s the brush of leaves against your shoulders.  It’s being too young to know and everything healthy your tongue deplores.  It’s laughter on a playground, while also the adventure found in wild violins.  It’s the slick moss pointing north.  It’s the voice of a friend you’ve sorely missed.  It’s finding a place where nobody has been, or getting lost without being afraid.  It’s working together with people you do not know.  It’s the smell of loam, of lake.  It’s the last day of school.

More than anything, it’s doing something just because.  


It’s waking up alone after the best of dreams.  It’s being unable to live with yourself and wishing more than anything, that you could be someone else.  But it’s also your heart when you believe yourself better than the person across from you.  When you find a mysterious hole in the tide of night, it’s your confidence of its depth or contents.  It’s the addiction that refuses to die. It’s finding a wall when you were supposed to be on an open road. It’s hearing you won’t be keeping your kids.  It’s waiting for something that will not come.  Where things have burned, it’s the smell that scars the air.  It’s a quiet of the most absolute sort and the state of things not working.  It’s your stomach when one minute somebody is breathing and the next minute they are not.  It’s last words, regardless of their peace or horror.

In the end, it’s mortal conclusion.


It’s your bed after a trying day.  It’s being at peace knowing the person you love, loves somebody else.  At last, it’s a promise fulfilled.  It’s the fire found in ice.  It’s a baby’s first cry.  It’s being smitten, without being lonely.  When hailed by transgressions, it’s forgiveness.  It’s the dress of the bride and the teeth in her smile.  It’s believing somebody will come home.  It’s a choir in worship and a new idea.  It’s listening in isolation.  Before you paint, it’s a canvas.  It’s the virgin snowfall, crumbling between your fingers.  It’s the crown of the aged, the wise, and those fortunate enough to reach either.  It’s a victorious fanfare.  It is the searing vulnerability of having your innermost exposed.  It’s the feather of a dove.

But most of all, it’s wondering for the sake of it.