Colors of My Mind

By Josslyn Grover, TIWP Student

I feel everything all at once. I am a white t-shirt at the mercy of a seven year old at a tie-dye camp, splashed by all the brightest colors until all that remains is a muddy brown rag.

First, the seven year old sprays me blue, a calm that starts the day with hope. A good kind of ache washes over me with the rewards of a good night’s sleep. In front of me shades of blue are cast upon my white walls. They send me visions of oceans and rivers, crisp air that might clear the fog that presides in my mind in the early morning.

Then, very quickly, too quickly, she opens the orange. The rivers in my visions have suddenly turned murky. Looking down in the water I imagine the snake of anxiety curling up beneath the surface. I know I must cross and I know I will be bitten. Even as I picture my fate, I know that the pain I create in my head will be greater than the actual wound. A list of the tasks of the day slowly starts to add up and the hope that I felt when I first opened my eyes is dimmed.

Yellow fades in at the corner of the sleeve, though I know that it’s far too weak to withstand the other colors. The yellow is rational. It’s clear. It calculates with reassurance and it tries its best to comfort. It sheds its light on the murky water and convinces me that the river is less dangerous than it seems. It continues like that for the rest of the day, appearing often, timid and shy but persistent nonetheless.

Purple is dumped in the center. It colors some of the brown from earlier. It’s steady and reliable. I’m lucky enough to know this feeling. It takes over my irrational thinking and lets the simple tasks of life take over. It turns me maroon and velvet. It reminds me of the air I breathe in and out and the constant beat of my heart. I thank purple because purple always makes me feel grateful.

A sudden rush of red. It cuts through me. It sends me down a spiral that I cannot map my way out of. It drowns me in the murky water that I feared. I kick and I scream, I rage. I fill the water with noise that is to be silenced. No screams are heard from such a depth. Eventually the red fades with the purple and slowly lifts me above the water. I run away, still drenched from the river. I cannot face that shore today, it will have to wait another day.

As I walk farther from the river, I sigh.

Around me is green, trees that grow to the size of skyscrapers. Moss clings to the rocks in hope of life. Grass sways with the wind, agreeable to those around it. Green seems to breathe on its own. Green is lots of shades, from the bright backs of poisonous frogs and even to the murky waters of the river I ran from. Green doesn’t command anyone. It doesn’t force itself upon me. It merely exists, to be admired and to be feared, to be looked on with humane eyes.

Green is life, and oh how beautiful it is.

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