Monday, February 12, 2007

Color-ing Books

Not far from us is a wonderful biking trail that meanders through the Wisconsin countryside following the footprints of now ancient trains. One of the trail’s highlights is a series of long, cool tunnels through which the biker is instructed to dismount and walk his bicycle through the damp, dark catacombs of stone. After the tunnel’s visual void, emerging into the daylight is like a rebirth into a world of color and creation’s eye-candy.

I was reminded of those tunnels—dark and monochromatic—today as I reflected on the colorlessness of the scenery outside my window at this time of year. I’m a fuschia-periwinkle-marine blue-teal kind of person. So waking to nothing but white, dirty white, and gray on these late winter mornings is the antithesis of the color palette that stirs me.

On a search for something else entirely, I stumbled onto this photo in my computer files, a snapshot taken during the height of last year’s peony season.

The sight of it revved my creative engines as if it were floral caffeine. Color caffeine. I have the picture to stir in me that which is not reality outside my window at the moment.

I write color-ing books. Not the kind that beg for Crayolas, but books that remind readers of the color that may be missing in their lives in a monochromatic season of grief or sadness or disillusionment or despair. I want to create pictures of the grace of God for seasons when my readers may not have seen a hint of it for a long stretch, through a dark tunnel that seems endless. Words can do that, can create photographs of hope that somewhere under the old snow lies a seed or bulb or rhizome itching to restore color to the scene.

“What is it you write?”

When asked that question, I hope I remember to answer, “Color-ing books.”


Kristy Dykes said...

Beautiful picture! Took my breath away!

Great post.

eileen said...

I love your new site look! And the I couldn't grow mold if I tried.