A Colorful Self-Discovery Story

When, via Yeah, Another Blogger, I began launching stories into cyberspace back in April 2015, I didn’t realize that, over time, the writing process would increase my knowledge about who the hell I am. I’ve found this to be kind of neat, an unexpected bonus. After all, I’m an old f*ck who, since his teens, has been a champ at moving unsteadily through life. So, you better believe I happily embrace any aha moments that arrive. It’s good when the lights turn on.

For example, while penning an essay (Hippieish Notes From The Information Desk) a few years ago, it became clear to me that the values of the hippie era — those heady days of my youth when freedom, open-mindedness, peace, love and understanding were put into practice by millions upon millions of young folks around the world — shaped many of my basic outlooks. Somehow this truth had eluded me consciously and, were it not for writing, probably would still be lost in the extensive foggy regions of my mind.

Which brings us to colors, a subject I’ll now present as a second example of my increased self-awareness. I’ve written about colors numerous times, having devoted pieces to red, orange and the beauty of flowering trees, to cite several instances. While knocking out the first few of my color-centric opuses, I came to appreciate more fully than before that colors are really important to me. They get to me emotionally, some color schemes relaxing me, some exciting me, some causing me to stare in wonder as the words oh, wow slip from my lips.

But my relationships with colors go farther than that, for, while writing, it also dawned on me that I encourage colors to affect me, by seeking them out pretty damn often. I’d feel a bit less alive if I didn’t. “Pursuer of colors” is an occupational title that I’m proud to have on my resumé.

Well, one morning a couple of weeks ago, as my bony ass sank deeper and deeper into my living room sofa, I decided that rising to my feet might not be a bad idea. Nor would a pursuit of vibrant hues to brighten up the day. That’s why I promptly stood up, exited the house and drove a few miles to Glenside, Pennsylvania, a fine town whose commercial corridors are studded with every type of small business you can imagine. I arrived there at 9:00 AM, under soothing blue skies.

Now, in my neck of the woods, which includes Glenside, neutral colors rule: the tans, browns, greys and blacks that, in one combination or another, fill buildings, paved roads and sidewalks. And greens are dominant too, the deep greens of foliage, specifically. As much as I like those tones, they never have, and never will, send me over the moon exactly.

Of course, plenty of happier hues, the ones I was on a mission to locate, also exist in Glenside. After pounding the pavement for an hour, I found a dozen or more scenes bright enough to put a nice big smile on my face. Five of the scenes illustrate this story.

There was no denying the power of the Sunoco gas station, for certain. Its signage, an in-your-face rainbow of colors, all bursting with life, won me over from the second it came into view.

As did a subtler composition, one that centers around avocado green umbrellas. The umbrellas, belonging to a café at the Glenside railroad station, added a ton of juice to a setting that otherwise would have been described as drab, man, drab. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.

All in all, though, I felt that there was one clear winner, a striking combination of Beauty (a dreamy mural) and the Beast (a mottled, pale-orange-tinged trestle, emboldened with wide black and gold stripes to lessen the chances that motorists will plow into it). When I saw the mural peeking out from behind the trestle, which supports overhead railroad tracks, I was taken by the incongruity of the overall display. An incongruity that totally works, however. The mural and the decorated trestle are partners. They feed off each other’s energy. The music they make together might be on the dissonant side, but despite that, it’s a composition that hits all the right notes.

127 thoughts on “A Colorful Self-Discovery Story

  1. joylennick September 3, 2022 / 12:55 pm

    Hi Neil, I’ve missed receiving your blogs?! I don’t type one as regularly as I should as I’ve been finishing my 10th book: The Dobrowski Portrait (set in WW11 in Poland and the UK) and write a column for The Costa Blanca Newspaper weekly; also hope to continue taking the ‘Chair’ for Writers’ Ink next week (puff puff…) Now I’m as old as Methusaleh…it all takes longer!! Back to you…and colour! Surely, colour is part of life from the range and shades of greens in nature’s forests and copses, the various blues of the changing sky, not to mention the Madonna blue of a stained glass window in a church. They all evoke changing moods and feelings. I can’t imagine everything being b beige! How boring that would be… Keep well and writing your blogs. Cheers. x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pam Lazos September 4, 2022 / 9:19 am

    I love your introspection, Neil, and did you know there is a multibillion dollar industry built around color therapy? It could be a retirement gig for you. 😂😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Americaoncoffee September 18, 2022 / 8:29 am

    Hi There! I share your overall experience fully Neil. Your share is so beautifully written too. I can see clearly now as well, but I wonder if color or the cyber heights of technologies has lifted our awareness…🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 18, 2022 / 11:42 am

      Hi, AOC. Technology is powerful and almost everywhere these days. The impacts of technology cannot be overstated.


  4. stargazer October 9, 2022 / 2:13 pm

    You have a good eye for finding colourful motifs in daily life. I love taking photos, when I am on holiday, but otherwise I am not very observant and probably miss out on a lot of interesting sights.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 9, 2022 / 3:09 pm

      Hi there. When I started this blog, I didn’t anticipate that I’d enjoy taking photos to illustrate some of the stories. I’m glad it happened.

      Liked by 1 person

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