11/5/07

My Favorite Color

I recently was asked to complete a writing assignment, detailing, in 250 words or less:
- "how to make a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich"
- "a small adventure during a child's walk to school"
- "your favorite color"
or
- "how you would encourage a room of people to donate to your favorite charity."

I'd done the PBJ one; I seem to remember it being a standardized test or something back in middle school. And I've long wondered if my creative approach to that particular passage ended up reducing funding for my school, which would be pretty unfortunate: "Don't give any money to the yahoos over at Meridian Middle. Did you see the nonsense their students are writing? Disgraceful. If I tried to make a sandwich the way that kid instructed, I'd end up jailed or hospitalized, probably both."

The encouraging a room full of people to support my cause is, well, basically what I do every day, so that was out too. And the kid coming home from school having an adventure... yeah, it sounded fun, but I wasn't at all sure what they were after there, and was fairly sure I'd whiff it like with the junior-high prose test.

And that left the color one.

*****

It’s not normal, I know. And when I tell people which color is my favorite, they usually respond by scrunching up their faces in one way or another — some looking like they’ve just taken a sip of milk past its expiration date, others with the arched brow and pursed lips that say, “You’re not serious... are you?” I am. It’s a fantastic color, to my eyes. The hue of an aimless afternoon walk; the unmistakable shade of falling asleep outside while someone, somewhere in the distance, burns leaves. The slippery, mysterious tint of toes sinking into a river bottom; of the first cautious sip of coffee in the morning. The creak of a familiar floor, the yawning of a boat settling into the water as it first drifts away from the dock. There are other colors, yes, with beauty and mystery and the faint air of possibility, but my favorite is the one that waits quietly beneath them all, modest, patient, ancient. Brown.

1 comment:

-T- said...

Brown? Not "burnt umber" or "Sienna"? Just plain old orange-helmet-wearing brown?