The colour blue

The colour blue

September 16, 2018  |  Ordinary Days of the Spirit, Sunday Letter

Grace and peace to you

This past week while winding along Philip Kgosana Drive around the mountain I suddenly saw a bright patch of blue sky. It was as if a cat had brushed open the grey curtains of rain cloud with its tail while walking on the window ledge. Blue light split through. Bright blue made brighter by being boarded by grey. It was beautiful.

It reminded me of the words of Rebecca Solnit in her book, A Field Guide to Getting Lost, in which she describes where sky ‘blue’ comes from:

The world is blue at its edges and in its depths.

This blue is the light that got lost.

Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us.

It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water.

Water is colourless, shallow water appears to be the colour of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue.

The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is deeper dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance.

The light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the colour blue.

I invite you to read that a few times over …

What wonder-filled words: “blue is the light that got lost” … “the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world”. 

Dare we trust that all the loss we carry is not completely lost to us, but present in a different form – a beautiful blue?

Dare we trust …

With light that got lost,
Alan

 


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