We are surrounded by it on this big blue ball we live on.
Look up, look out. In most of the world today, you still see blue.
If you’re lucky enough to see the ocean meet the sky, the blue is simply overwhelming. It fully envelops you and reminds you just how small we really are. The most blue I have ever seen was gifted to me in Greece at a time where nerd and Monkey brain were already obsessing over the color blue.
I was immersed in an expanse of blue. An open, uncluttered wide space of calm or chaos depending the mood of Mother Nature, or Poseidon, take your pick. . Unavoidable blue in subtle shades that shift with the tides and the clouds as they move with the winds changing shape as they go. Bold blues and blues beneath blues in depths unknown. Blanketed in blue.
As of late, I can’t get enough of the color blue. I watched a cartoon called “Zima Blue” a short cartoon about and artist and his blue, but secretly I watched this seemingly innocent cartoon as the evolution and destruction of self. It’s worth watching, but struck a chord within me. Combine that cartoon with an article about the power of blue spaces, I am full on down the rabbit hole…a blue hole. I now notice just how surrounded we are with it, and wonder what it all means. This is more than a Monkey moment, this is an intention. The strange obsession that demands to be learned. I’m starting to understand just what it means to have a Blue period. I can’t seem to find enough, or know enough about blue. Start at the beginning. Where it ends, usually depends on where you start. Whitey Ford Sings the Blues.
My earliest strong memory of blue is my bike, not even my first bike. This was my Stranger Things looking blue bike with a black banana seat. What color of blue was it? So many names and shades. A new blue was discovered ten years ago. That new blue named after the chemical components it was created from, discovered on accident now being added to a box of Crayola crayons. Who decides what colors go in a box of 64 or 128, that would be a very difficult job, with a hell of a lot of pressure. My bike was blue, you know just blue. Simpler times.
I need to learn. I start with the history of the color blue. Google. Egyptians. Evidence of them heating powders with a recipe and intention to adorn their world and match the sky they built toward. Science beyond my understanding because, chemistry. A happy little accident I suppose, I really wonder though. How did they figure that out? Aliens.
It speaks to me that artists of the world crave beauty, craved the ability to surround themselves in it, always.
Then we, like the collective we, forgot. We forgot the history of the Egyptians, those gifted with math and science beyond their years. We forgot how to make blue. We returned to the crushing of of stones to make pigments, for centuries.
The grinding of semi precious stones to summon a pigment worth it’s weight in gold reserved for the revered. Tales of painters that bankrupted their families for another dab of blue. Blue has evolved with us and elevated some of us. Hundreds of years of the search for blues.
Indigos and cobalts and lapis lazuli. That blue stone with streaks of gold. A search to create the color we see in the world around us. Blue. There is more blue around us than any other color on the spectrum. That spectrum of color which holds the same notes as a scale and the days of the week, not on accident. Sir Newton said so.
I believe artists put themselves into their work, a piece of their mind, heart and soul. Those works that inspire, heal, transform. Those works contain a piece of the artist themselves and there is more truth to that than I knew.
We didn’t remember Egyptian blue, a new blue became out of accident. Blue was rediscovered while a painter was trying to make red. There was blood in the mixture, transforming the sanguine red made from death, to blue. The blue was created by blood. I choose to imagine the tattered hands of the painter with a mortar and pestle grinding the carcasses of beetles to make a enough paint for the cloak of someone holy when a single drop of blood drips from his hand transforming his blood into the blue of the bluest skies and deepest waters. A blessed moment of alchemy, sorcery, an accident. The birth of what we would come to call Prussian blue.
Blue Bloods? Hold on Monkey, I can’t go there right now.
No longer was blue worth it’s weight in gold. Blue instead required a sacrifice, a drop of life’s blood.
Life blood put the power of blue on the tips of the brushes of anyone, not just those fortuned with a true patron. Blue once reserved only for the royal and the wealthy who could adorn a canvas with semi precious stones, now existed for us to color the world with abandon. Almost.
It would take an industrial revolution, a return to science to make blue truly affordable. It would be in the lifetime of my great-grandmother before paints became accessible let alone affordable.
But, blue is what we make our lives with.
The Great Wave.
Picasso’s Blue Period.
The blue dot of Cohen.
The sky in Kindergarten classrooms everywhere.
I began to notice the power of blue. “Blue has no dimensions. It is beyond dimensions,” says Klein the creator of another new blue. IKB. International Klein Blue.
New shades discovered, more happy accidents. More blue.
The blue bike with the banana seat as a wee one.
Blue. The blue rabbit hole gets deeper and deeper.
I read an article about the power of the blue space, that our brains react differently to a blue expanse. A blue hole to dive into to learn the colorful side of science. The impact of blue. The color once worth it’s weight in gold, transforms our brains to be…better. It heals us. There is scientific evidence speaking to the power of blue transforming our brains into calm, a healthier place. Evidence that a walk along the blue waters truly transforms our brains back to a happier state. Being surrounded in blue makes us happy and better.
Linear Monkey the most rare monkey grabs me.
If blue is powerful, sought after, royal, a symbol of status and wealth and happiness once reserved for the cloaks of the Mother Mary and the Angels on high, why do we sing the blues?
The colors of the rainbow, a musical scale, the days of the week, the seven chakras of the Eastern worlds. I’m seeing a connection that is too hard to ignore. Chakra blue represents the throat and speaking truth. Singing the blues, speaking a universal truth. There is a logic here that my mind can follow. The absolute interrelatedness of the tangible, the heard, the felt and the seen. Blues.
Grateful for my background in music theory, I dive into the history of the other blues the ones we hear, the ones we feel. The blues that rose to life in a call and response from the fields to freedom. The blues we listen to, commiserating with company over a glass of good whiskey. The blues we sing along to when we feel we’ve all been there before. The blues we sing to feel less alone, to be connected to people and our place in this world. It begins to make sense.
There’s a reason for all of it. There’s a reason we are at home surrounded by it, enveloped by the scope of heaven to take a deep breath and just be.
Blues, all of them, make us better. It’s okay to be blue.