Untitled (Blue Divided By Blue)
Mark Rothko, 1966.
To me, blue is a color that defines extremes perfectly. It is the singular color that paints sorrow immaculately, but on the flip side, also suitably tints and touches on serenity.
It’s a complicated hue with many meanings.
I’ve always been a fan of traveling by air alone.
Ironically, one of my biggest fears is height itself, but somehow I feel quite safe inside an airplane. Perhaps it’s because I’m unable to see how high up I am, or maybe it’s because of some morbid “if this is it, then so be it” mentality. We never know when we’re going to leave the world, so there’s really no use spending so much time worrying about the end. It can be seen as carelessness for some, but I beg to differ. I’d rather worry about abstract possibilities than something that’s so certain and concrete. (I know, so much better, huh? I’m trying my best to become less of an over-thinker.) Plus statistically, airplanes are actually a lot safer than cars, and it comes as even less of a surprise living in Asia as there are an abundance of motorcyclists, cyclists, stray dogs and cats, as well as extreme jaywalkers.
I try to pick the window seat every single time.
The singular moment when I switch my electronic devices to airplane mode is quite relishing. No matter how many times I travel, or how much heartache I may get from leaving my current destination, the act of terminating any form of contact from anyone (other than the short exchanges with strangers in front of me) for a couple of hours to half a day has a calming effect.
The sunny days are my favorites, especially during spring and fall.
If I could freeze time and feelings, one of the instances I would hit pause would be the precise moment when I’m seated with the seat belt fastened, with some of the rays piercing in from the curved window. Despite the enclosed space, the internal air pressure and atmosphere as well as a burst of relief made it so easy for me to fall into deep sleep as the plane braces itself for takeoff.
Before I drift off, the last view I see is almost always the soothing blue sky.
A couple of months ago, I noticed that there was something that was off – way off – with me.
To be fair, I like to think that we all have our individual quirks. After all, “normal” is such a subjective term, and it is clearly evidenced in many cases cross cultures and eras. We all have our individual beliefs and values that construct and shape what we can and cannot accept, which explains why we get closer and / or further from others. However, this wasn’t about any of my (potential / possible / existing) idiosyncrasies. It was relative to my state of emotional well-being, and it could be best described as a rapid decline, and colored blue.
I was consistently antsy, sorrowful, lethargic and on the brink of a relapse.
Eventually, organically, and unsurprisingly, that was exactly what had happened. I ended up starting from square one again by slowly and painfully picking each and every broken piece up. I thought, and I still do think that I have I lost a lot. The only difference between then and now is that my mindset shifted more than a bit. I didn’t just lose and not gain; I have obtained the knowledge and experience from those agonizing times. I learned that not everyone is kind, nor do they have to be, but it seems like I have to rinse and repeat this lesson over and over again to grasp the finer points of it. The key here isn’t about failing, but the ability to pick myself up after the downfall.
In hindsight (oh, and it consistently happens after that), it was extremely evident to a few of my close friends and also in my past writings that I was hurting a lot. My world was monochromatic in waves of blue. I have no idea as to how we connect the color with an array of emotions, but the fascinating part is that there is an universal recognition for this. Red goes well with passion, love, and anger, black pairs up with death and despair, white complements purity and cleanliness, green goes with freshness and nature, and blue…blue is left with loneliness and sadness.
My life synchronized with the compilation of all of the sad songs, movies, shows, artworks, and writings out there. I even picked out artworks that I could relate to during those weeks and months as they supplemented my writings, and a lot, if not all of them were from Picasso’s Blue Period.
“The Blue Period of Picasso is the period between 1900 and 1904, when he painted essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. These somber works, inspired by Spain but painted in Paris, are now some of his most popular works, although he had difficulty selling them at the time.”
Quite fitting how the hyperlink is most likely blue, isn’t it?
I was swimming, no, perhaps drowning in the depths of blue. For a minimum of a couple of weeks, it seemed to me that not only the Mondays were blue. It was much more than that. My entire world was dipped exclusively in blue. The other colors didn’t stand a chance.
It wasn’t a feeling of déjà vu – it was part of my reality that was congruent with one of the gloomiest stages in my life. It didn’t take long to wrap and embrace myself within this coat of sorrow. There was an edge of familiarity to this.
No wonder it is so common to associate melancholy with blue.
In present day, I’ve managed to find my way back and introduced other colors into my life.
However, I coexist with blue nowadays: mainly the fluffy, comfortable experiences with blue. It took a lot of quitting and hurting to get to where I am today, but here I am. Perhaps it’s true, we never appreciate who and what we have until we have lost them. We barely slow down and keep track of what we have as we get easily distracted and shadowed by greed. Perspectives alter when the tables have turned.
I managed to twist and tumble, then eventually turn, so today I’m saying hello again to the first type of blue, because I’m more than ready for you and what accompanies you.