under attack

 photo Ullswater_zps3f4251b1.jpg
Image Credit: Helen Boyd

A golden day, full of the hopes and dreams of lives yet to be lived, stretched out before me.  Surveying the beautiful and vibrant hues, edging on brilliance, I knew with a unquestionable certainty that anything was possible.  It wasn’t the first time I’d felt that way, but with each passing year, weighed down by the responsibilities of living, the moments grew further and further apart.

I ran my hands through the outstretched offshoots of the tall grasses and felt the pull of the stems against my legs, holding me there, urging me to slow down, enjoy, just be: calm, quiet, present, aware.  I watched the ripples tremble away from my passing.  I watched the golds pulse in the valley below, responding to the gentle changes of light as time marched forward on the steady beat of my relaxed heart.  My eyes cast ahead to a stain of blue in the distance, a smudge on the pristine visage and a respite from the intensity of the color onslaught.

I was under attack.  The beauty of the moment was fighting to win my heart, conquer my mind, devour my soul.  Should I have resisted?  How could I if I had even wanted to?  Who has the power to withstand the world’s magnificence when it chooses to unleash its chaos?

I sighed.  I surrendered to the scenery.  I gave myself to the moment and let go of all that had laid claim to me before.  I became one with the golden day.

The world sighed too and happily took me into its victorious embrace.


What do you see when you look at the picture?  What do you feel?  Write it up, and link it to this week’s Once More With Feeling prompt.

Blurred Edges

While Hayley goes trekking around the Emerald Isle, I’ve stopped by her slice of the blogosphere to share one of my sunrise themed posts. Pop on over and check it out!


blurry sunrise

I headed towards the sunrise and the edges of the world blurred as night reluctantly gave way to day.

Black seeped from the heavens into the land and blues took its place: first royal, then navy, then the hint of sky warmed with a kiss of pink.  The swap was nearly instantaneous.  One moment it was night and the next it was day, the only evidence the lingering blur on the horizon where the two continued to fight it out.

I headed towards the sunrise and marveled at the beauty of the coming day.

Not a single blemish marked the infinite sky.  Swiveling around I could see from one edge of the world to the other, front to back, and nothing spoiled the slow progression of hues.  I couldn’t see where one color ended and the next began, but the sky behind me was not the same as that in…

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“Red – a world about to dawn!”

This week’s writing challenge, a splash of color, asks us to consider the power of colors as emotional triggers.  As the challenge voices, there are certain colors that have stereotypical (cultural) responses – white: clean, blue: sad, red: angry, green: healthy – and there are certain colors that have would trigger more personal responses based on memories and experiences of each individual – the colors of leaves as the seasons change: reds, oranges and browns, the color of the ocean as it breaks on shore: a full gradient of blues topped with a foamy white, the storm clouds gathering on the horizon: blacks, purples, greys, and oranges if the sun happens to be setting behind the clouds.  These are all great examples of the power of color.  I could write blog posts about each of these, what they mean to me, and how the color influences my reactions and responses.

However, personally, the first colors I think of when I’m considering them as emotional triggers are Red and Black.  Specifically, I think of a song from the musical Les Miserables titled exactly that: Red and Black.  (For reference, you can check out the full song here: Les Miserables – Red and Black lyrics.)

My first introduction to Les Miserables came in the form of the 1998 film starring Liam Neeson as Valjean and Geoffrey Rush as Javert (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119683/).  I was so utterly captivated by the story in the film that I immediately went out and read the Victor Hugo classic.  I was hooked.  After finishing the novel I had the opportunity to see the musical performed several times, in several locations, with several different touring companies.  They have all been fantastic.  (Perhaps I’m just a sucker for the story no matter what form it is told in.)

This may be taking the challenge slightly out of context, as rather than “actual” colors I’m going to focus on colors as words, but there are several lines in the song “Red and Black” that help me relive the experiences of watching, reading, and listening to the story and relive the full ensemble of emotions that the story has brought out in me each and every time I’ve gotten to experience it:

The color of the world is changing day by day…

Red – the blood of angry men!  Black – the dark of ages past!

Red – a world about to dawn!  Black – the night that ends at last!


Red…  I feel my soul on fire!  Black…  My world if she’s not there…

Red…  The color of desire!  Black…  The color of despair!

Red and Black, two colors, seemingly such simple descriptions (they aren’t even the most imaginative or expressive of colors) but in this song they exist on a palate all their own.  They encompass life and death, love and loss, past, present, and future.  They are everything we have ever been and everything we will ever be.

Red is passion, hope, love, the dawning of a new day, the dawning of a new life, a new relationship, and all the possibilities the future may have in store, as well as the drive to make that future a better world.

Black is loss, and loneliness, the necessary evils to bring about change, strife, anguish, the demons from our pasts, the things that haunt our memories, and, ultimately, death.

These simple words, these two simple colors, help me remember all of the corresponding interactions and emotions in the story.  From there, the colors help me transfer my thoughts from the story to experiences in my own life; Red and Black trigger a flood of memories: pain and sorrow, triumph and joy, and above all love – that ever constant and ever fluctuating drive in all of our lives. 

Ups and downs, back and forth, good and bad, red and black: love and life.  These two colors can represent the entire sum of our human experience.  At least, when I’m listening to that song, they can for me.