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Our Story, or Meditation on Gray and Light

February 12, 2010

Yesterday I clicked on a link from twitter and saw a print of Robin Maria Pedrero’s “The Engagement.” Not thirty minutes later I quickly wrote “Our Story, or Meditation on Gray and Light,” inspired by it. It’s something different from me for #fridayflash–part story, part meditation, and perhaps even part Valentine. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. It’s for lovers of all types–and love is everywhere. Check out Robin’s work at Pocketful of Colors and visit her on twitter: robinpedrero.

“The Engagement” by Robin Maria Pedrero

Our Story, Or Meditation on Gray and Light:

Once upon a time we believed in gray. Gray as in gradient, with no clearly defined edges. It’s only when we pushed too far that we faced darkness and could not find our way home. Or we faced light, blinding light,which our eyes could not see but our bodies could feel, a buzz of electricity lighting up our sky.

They say everything is made of energy and that this heals those binary divisions like waves and particles, the cooked and the raw, the sacred and the profane, the black and the white. But I’m here to tell you that energy, vibrating faster than our hums, also heals the grays, the grays that leave us without selves, that leave us as ghosts that flit one way or the other searching for a way to go.

Color. We’re scared of color. Because that takes decision. And that takes a self. And we’re scared of edges. Edges jagged like glass with which to rip the other, green bottles broken, buried in the sand for unsuspecting feet. Or hands. Or lips. That is, Souls. So we ski down the slopes of gray, pretending we’ve snow deep enough to hide the shattering remnants thrown away when we were only three years old.

Until the blinding sun comes out and we’ve no sunglasses thick enough to stop its rays from penetrating our skin, right to the heart. And our bodies together dance the celestial dance of energy, making its own light, unborrowed, because unified with the sun. The sunglasses fall away and we wake to a world of color, a world of edges that do not divide, a world not sharp to the touch, but soft, colors gaining plane and substance like Cézanne’s.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 11:40 am

    Meditation on Gray & Light
    Wonderful meditation on colour, lines, shadow and energy. Imagine if we could write prose that shimmers and changes hue as you read on. That has angular edges in one chapter, then mellifluous abstracts in another?
    Loved it.
    marc nash

    • February 14, 2010 2:01 pm

      Re: Meditation on Gray & Light
      Oh, that would be wonderful indeed! I was actually thinking something similar when I was writing. How ’bout we try for it? I can think of doing it metaphorically–and not so metaphorically!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 11:48 am

    waves and particles – the ultimate binary division!
    After the grey, it was a wonderful touch to end on Cezanne.
    I shall take your heed – this weekend I shall endeavour to be fearlessly colourful!

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 12, 2010 11:50 am

      that comment was from @mazzz_in_Leeds, by the way 🙂

    • February 14, 2010 2:03 pm

      OMG, the first time I read through this–quickly–instead of “I shall take your heed” I read “I shall take your head”! I hope you are fearlessly colorful this weekend. Thanks for the note on Cezanne. I just thought him right.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 12:47 pm

    An awakening
    Yes! I’m so glad you ‘pushed too far’. This is wonderful, meditative, swirling. Ochre’s and reds. Reminded me of Sufi mystics. I really enjoyed this very much. Thank you.
    You might want to read ‘The Artist’s Heart’ by P.J.Kaiser @Doublelattemama for another take on colour this week.

    • February 14, 2010 2:18 pm

      Re: An awakening
      Thanks for suggesting “The Artist’s Heart.” I really enjoyed it! You gave me one of the most wonderful compliments–that it reminded you of Sufi mystics. 🙂 And I’m amazed–those colors fit!

  4. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 1:48 pm

    This my dear Melissa windspirit girl is a poignant moment in my life reading your words inspired by my art. I am in awe and moved. And the world is once again anew and right and wonderful with your beautiful words affirming and inspiring my upcoming works. This is the greatest gift. I thank you sincerely. I speak in a visual language, come what may…
    Love and Happy Valentines Day!
    Robin Maria Pedrero

    • February 14, 2010 2:19 pm

      Re: honored
      I’m so glad you liked it. 🙂 And I’m so happy to have “met” you and to have been privileged to view your art.

  5. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 2:27 pm

    Loved this.
    You and Robin inspire me.
    Kelli Money Huff

  6. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 2:50 pm

    Colors on the brain!
    Isn’t it funny that we took visual inspiration for our writing this week! This is a beautiful meditative piece. Thanks to @skycycler for connecting us 🙂
    -PJ (@doublelattemama )

  7. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 3:04 pm

    friday flash
    You took visual language and wrote such a beautiful piece! The colors for me this last week is white, because of being snowed in by two blizzards.
    Today is first day I can go out and walk among the snowdrifts, and I will look for the colors…

  8. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 3:38 pm

    I am in awe – this is an absolutely gorgeous tribute to Robin’s work, just beautiful. Thanks so much for this lovely reminder, and for pointing us to Robin’s work.

    • Anonymous permalink
      February 12, 2010 3:39 pm

      Re: Wow!
      oops! forgot to list who I am! Didn’t mean to post anonymously, sorry about that.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 4:07 pm

    Wonderful painting with words. The inclusion of energy, a reminder of the source of light, color, and our feelings.
    -David G Shrock

  10. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 4:16 pm

    Beautiful expression of opening up, becoming alive, tapping into the full energy.

  11. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 6:39 pm

    This is one of the most beautiful and insightful pieces I have ever read on #fridayflash. Thank you.
    Colours and grey are both soft.
    “I had seen birth and death,
    But had thought they were different” ~ T.S. Eliot

  12. February 12, 2010 8:03 pm

    “They say everything is made of energy and that this heals those binary divisions like waves and particles, the cooked and the raw, the sacred and the profane, the black and the white.”
    Loved this line, particularly the waves and particles – such a physics geek, Melissa! 🙂 – not so sure about cooked and raw. Bit mundane when discussing such fundamentals. Maybe right and wrong or truth and lies. On the one hand a primary ethical question, on the other, food-poisoning. 😛
    The snow imagery was really effective.
    (Anton Gully fears colour, but has a large collection of edges.)

    • February 12, 2010 8:19 pm

      Edges can be lots of fun! Now, think how much more fun they would be…with color! 😉
      I used the cooked and the raw b/c it’s a famous opposition made by anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, a structuralist (one of the founders of structuralism) with a belief that the mind thinks fundamentally in binary oppositions–and that language functions as sets of binary oppositions. His phrase actually reversed it–“The Raw and the Cooked,” but I liked the sound of mine better for this. The phrase I used as shorthand–and especially to think of language as series of binary oppositions (and maybe even bring to mind the work of Derrida, etc., who, try as they might to be post-structuralist, have never quite shaken binary thinking as an underlying assumption).

      • February 12, 2010 8:27 pm

        Haha–I say “famous opposition,” but I think it may only be famous to academic geeks like me! Hmmm…

      • February 12, 2010 8:39 pm

        Melissa, I hate to call Claude Levi-Strauss out here, especially as he’s dead and all, but he was wrong. If he wants to make something of it he can haul his zombie butt out of the ground and throw down. In an intellectual discussion. With chainsaws.
        The only other person I remember quoting Claude Levi-Strauss was Russell Brand. I need to read more.
        Anyway, raw and cooked was a paraphrase. It was more like “not begun” and “finished”. 😛
        I have Wikipedia on my side.

        • February 12, 2010 9:02 pm

          The Raw and the Cooked was a volume from Mythologiques. True, it is an English translation of Le Cru et le cuit, and that can mean “raw” and something like “done.” I’m not an expert in French. 😉 However, I’m simply using shorthand. In academic discussions I’ve been in (and in classes) the raw and the cooked is one of the first examples thrown out there–it’s come to symbolize a whole way of thought. For people who’ve never read a word of Levi-Strauss.
          But I am WITH YOU in the throw down. It has driven me crazy that people assume language functions in this way (my understanding of structuralism, including Levi-Strauss, has been filtered through post-structuralist thought, particularly Derrida). We can talk about this more later. 🙂 I also need to read more Levi-Strauss. I read an interesting book this summer that showed the link of the mathematics of the day with his thinking…
          But the point of my piece would call into doubt what the raw and the cooked (as a phrase) has come to symbolize in our understanding of language (particularly the assumed violence of opposition–or even calling it opposition…).

          • February 12, 2010 9:18 pm

            Ah, je suis debout sous toi. I mean… well you get the drift. 😉
            I get it now. Hmm. Many layers! I should have expected no less.

  13. Anonymous permalink
    February 12, 2010 8:12 pm

    Wow! Wonderful piece. I love the feel and imagery (as well as the color and energy) of this!

  14. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2010 12:51 am

    I loved this. One of the best pieces I’ve read in weeks. And the prompt — lucious.
    You outdid yourself this week. Brava! Peace, Linda

  15. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2010 1:19 pm

    Robin’s work has been inspiring me for quite a while. Thank you for sharing the results of how she inspired you.

  16. Anonymous permalink
    February 13, 2010 4:17 pm

    Award for you on The Other Side of Deanna

  17. Anonymous permalink
    February 14, 2010 2:52 pm

    This was such a swirl of images and ideas that I almost got dizzy – beautifully so!
    CJ H-M

  18. Anonymous permalink
    February 15, 2010 5:12 pm

    GP Ching says-
    Wonderful blending of words and imagery to create the feeling of meditation, the swirl of emotion and growth that is a relationship. Superb piece. You should submit this one.

  19. Anonymous permalink
    February 16, 2010 2:54 am

    wonderful comments
    This is a wonderful process to be a part of and I am enjoying reading all of your comments.

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