Colors In Our Palette

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Logan: remarkably different somehow and yet it really isn’t. Not vivid. There wasn’t anything really that jumped and said ‘remember me,’ yet for some reason, I noticed color after color during this past East Coast visit…….it started with gray and muted dirty cream walls, and the American Flag near Luggage claim, more symbolic of New England to me than America.

Sometimes I think we forget the impact of colors or lack of them, how they make us feel, what they make us remember or……forget.

New England’s colors are easy to remember, easy to get lost in…..soft sage, muted yellows, Victorian blue, country barn red, hunter green and white picket fences surrounded by oak and sweeping willow trees, the kind we would swing from as children.

…….the covered porch swing, weathered picnic table, the infamous Adirondack chair, creamy clam chowder, the familiar pink and orange Dunkin Donuts sign on every corner, a shack with a broken lobster sign, the silted jacket that my cab driver always wore……..

Yet, the airports, public offices and government buildings give me gray and muted dirty cream, a stark contrast from the vivid colors in my new West Coast palette.

When we remember the impact of something — anything — whether it be a color, sounds, images, smells, or someone’s walk or voice, we tend to stop dead in our tracks to listen to the memory. Often, when we do this, we’ll rewind the tape and play it over again and again, until we’re ready to move on or perhaps play another tape.

I recently played a lot of old tapes in Boston — an MIT lecture, a first kiss on the bank of the Charles, a shout from one balcony to another across a narrow alley in the North End, a symphony performance partially blocked by a red and black Red Sox cap, diner toast at 3 am after a night of swing dancing, the September barbecue and fighting off black flies on a New Hampshire lake in the middle of summer.

While great to reflect, its even better to remember the impact of the colors in our rainbow. We’re each given a palette and a canvas in which to paint our life’s storyboard. If we lose sight of the colors, will the images on our canvas be vivid enough? Vivid enough to pass the tale to someone we meet along our journey who must hear it?

Sometimes, I find myself shedding a tear on an airplane — quite possibly because I so vividly remember the beauty of the palette I just left behind and imagine the colors I’m moving towards.

It’s in these colors that we live our lives and it is the colors that bring us gratitude……But it is the palette we draw our energy from and the working canvas that fuels our passion. The finished canvas is what finally brings us ultimate peace.

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