ArticlesA Meditation on Color: A Poetic Approach to Our Pain

Hey, you.

I don’t know who you are, but you’re beautiful, and I don’t mean that in any regard to your looks — I don’t know who is reading this at this very second. So, yeah, you are anonymous, and you are beautiful.

You know what else you are? Alive. That’s the only thing I know about you. And, I guess, that you can read, or be read to.

Yes, you’re alive right now, because you are here, open to my words, and honestly, I don’t care what color your eyes are, or what color your face is. I don’t care how curly your hair is, or if your eyebrows are naturally visible. I don’t care if you’re caked with makeup, or if all of your pimples and so-called facial flaws are going commando. I don’t care how many eyelids you have, or if you’re wearing glasses, or if you’re squinting at this screen right now to try and read these words. If your teeth are crooked, or missing, or just perfect.

I don’t care about what you look like. Don’t get me wrong, I see color. People who say they don’t are kidding themselves. We all see color. We see it. We see it on ourselves, we see it on our loved ones, we see it on strangers. We have words for each color. We are socialized to see it, to think it really means something.

But color should not deter you from receiving love, and it should never deter you from offering love. Color should not be the reason you cross the street when you see someone approaching along the same sidewalk as you. Color should not be the reason you try to match two friends together and get them to date. Color should not be the reason you hold your purse tighter. Color should not be the reason you’re asking this particular person for help with your homework. Color should not be the reason you’re afraid to visit someone’s home.

We see color, but color should not be the reason you want to touch someone, and it should not be the reason you don’t want to be touched by someone. Color should not be the reason you assume this person is poor, or rude, or loud, before meeting them. Color should not be the reason you don’t hire someone. Color should not be the reason you assume you cannot relate to this person, this human.

Color should not be the reason for staring, leering, or laughing. Color should not be the reason you can’t ask someone for directions. Color should not be the reason you tell your kids they can’t be friends with a particular person, or date a particular person. Color should not be the reason you shoot. Color should not be the reason you assume the worst in someone. Color should not be the reason you hurt someone.

Color shouldn’t even be the reason you’re nice to someone.

Hey, you.

I don’t know who you are, but you’re beautiful, and I don’t mean that in any regard to your looks — I don’t know who is reading this at this very second, and that proves it. So, yeah, you are beautiful, and color has nothing to do with it, not right now. I’m not crossing any street. I’m not making any assumptions about you, because I don’t know you, at least, not at this time.

Take this moment, because it is already fleeting, and remind yourself that you see color.

But color should not deter you from receiving love, and it should never deter you from offering love. Even if I know your color, I still don’t know you. If somehow I could look at you right now, reading this on your phone, or computer or tablet (cause I highly doubt you printed this out), I don’t know you. I don’t know what you said yesterday, or what you tweeted a week ago, or how you reacted to so-and-so. I don’t know who your friends are. I don’t know who you’re seeing. I don’t know who you voted for. I don’t know you.

I see the world as it is, and it can be so caring, yet so selfish. Spite is everywhere, internalized, ugly. Society has somehow turned into an adult coloring book, with a key that tells you what color to use and how to feel when we use them. Our prejudice and assumptions are our crayons. It’s exhausting, isn’t it? Coloring books should be calming; they should feel effortless, yet there’s a pressure. So, in this instance, right here, I’m telling you to drop it, for just a second. Drop the crayons. Drop all of them.

Find love in this brief anonymity with me. Because, right now, at this transient second, the default is beautiful.  

Look for your crayons. They seem just a little different now, don’t they? Now pick them up, and go back to coloring. I’m sorry if it hurts. If it doesn’t, I’m even more sorry.

I’ll say it one last time before you leave, whoever you are.

You are beautiful.

Brittany Du Bois

Brittany Maylyn Du Bois is a writer and journalist living in New York City. She is the author of the coming-of-age novel, “Streets of Melted Gold: An Arguably Fictional Memoir.” While studying at New York University, she additionally interns at NBC’s Oxygen network, hoping to one day be a part of a creative team for a live show, whether it be TV or online.

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