For this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, we were asked to think about green. Easy – my favourite colour! I made some photos of the emerging daylilies, allium and tulips in my garden, thinking they’d be ideal to show off green’s welcome return.
Then I forgot about it. I took the kids to school. I washed the dishes. I went to Home Depot to buy some potting soil.
On the way to the garden centre, I passed through the paint aisle, where I made an abrupt halt. There, on each side, were rows upon rows of paint chips. In every colour and every shade – of beige, of blue, of yellow.
Back at home, I spent an absurd amount of time photographing patterns of paint chips in various shades of green. I wasn’t really happy with my shots, and figured I’d go back to my original idea of posting spring flora for the challenge. In one last attempt, I purposely threw everything out of focus and, surprisingly, ended up liking the soft, abstract result.
And because my hands had been holding so many interesting shades of green (“Intoxication,” “Chard,” “Tuscan Herbs”), I pondered about this colour and its multiple personalities.
When green is ugly, it has a nauseating, radioactive glow. It’s the corrosion of the copper pipes in my basement and it’s the revolting squish of seaweed between my toes. It’s the fuzz of mold feeding on stale bread, and the soft rot of spoiled fruit. It’s the bitterness of Brussels sprouts and the wrath of the Incredible Hulk. It’s my exasperation with the immortal dandelions choking my garden and the embarrassment of spinach stuck in my teeth. It’s the blasted grass stains that refuse to budge from my kid’s jeans.
But let’s not forget: where there’s darkness, there’s also light.
Green is the shimmering, otherworldly gleam of the northern lights. It’s the crunch of a Granny Smith apple and the sinus-clearing freshness of peppermint. It’s the luck of a leprechaun’s four-leaf clover, and it’s squeaky Palmolive clean. It’s a crude but big-hearted animated Scottish ogre. It’s the traffic light granting permission to proceed, and the exit sign for those who can’t find the door. It’s the lush, humid heat of the tropics. It’s smooth, velvety moss and sharp, pungent pine. It’s the impossibly iridescent emerald feathers of a mallard duck, and it’s a seedling rising from the ashes of a forest fire.
It’s envy and greed, sickness and decay. It’s renewal and progress, opportunity and hope.
I think it may have a bit of an identity crisis.
No matter. Green: I will love you unconditionally.
Dear readers – let me know if you want to paint a wall green. I’ve got a few extra paint chips hanging around.