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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


Gray (Grey?)

Technically, gray (or 'grey' if you are in any English speaking country in the world except the U.S.), is really not a color.  It is a neutral, in the same category as black and white.  While white is the combination of all the colors, and black the absence of color, gray is considered to be achromatic.

Like smoke, mist, dust, and shadows, the various shades of gray are generally soft and quiet.  Perhaps that is why, on this night which is one of the last few before this school year ends, I am thinking of the way my classroom feels as the year winds down -- and that feeling, if it were a color, is gray.

Maybe tired is gray.
Surely all the dust of a whole year of lessons learned and work completed is gray.
When all the brightness of bulletin boards and posters and calendars and bins and tubs and the stuff of my world is put away, then the place seems to fade to a soft, sad, sullen, empty gray.
And the long, seemingly endless hours and minutes dripping off the face of my classroom clock, trudge one behind the other, clad in dull, deadening working man's gray.

Next week, after some much needed rest, I will sit here in my quiet home, and come once again to appreciate the grays of a summer thunder storm, the soft gray fur of the household cat people, the misty grays of my summer dreams, the silver in his hair -- and mine...  I will open my eyes and the world will glisten in its pewter toned, dew-covered richness, and I will be able to rejoice.



Every decorator knows that blue is a color that cools and calms and refreshes.

Personally, I've had a love affair with blue that goes back to my childhood.  Shoes, for a child of depression era parents were a serious matter.  I wore Buster Browns, or sometimes saddle oxfords.  For church, I had the ubiquitous patent leather Mary Janes.  And then, when I was about 7 or maybe 8 years old, there were Keds.  The original, as far as I know, tennis shoes, Keds were the play shoes of my youth.  They came in white and black, but also red and navy blue.  My young brothers always had the choice of white or black, but for me there was no choice ... I wore white.  White.  Every year I made the case for blue Keds, and every year, I left the store with white ones.  Until ... one amazing day, when I was 10, my parents said "yes" to my navy blue Keds.  They were the best, fastest, coolest shoes ever.

Since that day, I've decorated a home in pale creamy blue tones -- blue flowered upholstery and blue plaid curtains, even, in the first house I ever had any choice with, blue carpet. I have lounged the weekends away in a favorite, old, worn pair of denim jeans.  I've relished the bright, sweet flavor of blueberry pie on a warm summer night.  I have hiked up stony mountain peaks toward a high blue sky.  The closest thing to a prayer, for me, is a golden aspen grove against a mountain sky on a September afternoon.

People often say that they are "blue," when they are feeling down, and here in the U.S. we lay claim to The Blues as our one entirely American musical genre.  I'm not sure why being sad or forlorn equates with the blue wavelengths of the visible spectrum, but there it is.  Blue just doesn't seem sad to me.

Of course, for us, there is the great blue heron that has stood as the totem animal for our family for many years; the majestic, solitary, wading bird that lends its name to this blog.  They still grace the pond behind our home beginning each spring and extending into the summer.  We still call to one another and point out our big, blue-gray, spirit guides, and we all still come from wherever we might be to gather at the windows and watch their slow, listening passage along the shorelines.

Spirit color it is.  Blue.



Colors are, from the standpoint of science, about varying wavelengths of light and our perceptions of those wavelengths.  Very cool, technical, cut and dried science.  Nothing mystical or magical or airy-fairy about it.  Which all begs the question of why colors can, for some of us at least, evoke emotional responses that are entirely independent of the actual object that is seen.

Take the color, brown, for example.  Camel, coffee, cinnamon, clay, earth, bark, toffee, taupe, mink, walnut, cocoa, seal, sand, leather, roan, toast.  Browns are found in a diverse palette of tones that underlie and underline the more vivid hues of our daily lives.  Browns are quiet and calm and serene.

But, in my mind, I can smell the wet mud, taste the bitter chocolate, feel the campfire smoke sting the tears from my eyes.  Brown is coffee brewing in the dark of a winter morning, and brown is the grime under my nails as I finish planting flowers in the pots on my patio.  Brown will always be the texture of a fine, leather covered volume from my bookshelf.  Wood grains and spicy aromas and the velvet ears of a cocker spaniel puppy are the browns of my heart.

If colors were sounds, then brown would be the low, pounding, rhythmic beat that keeps the rest of the symphony together.  When I am quiet in my deepest self, it is as if I am wrapped in the finest of warm brown woolens -- a luxurious comfort.



I am, for whatever reason, interested in colors.  There is nothing driving that as far as I can tell.  It just seems that my thoughts are tending to the expression of emotions and thoughts in terms of the hues of the spectrum.

So, to begin... with green.  We are at the transition point, here in this region of the country, between spring and summer.  Summers here, are a wash of greens.  I remember that, when I first moved here, I was struck almost wordless by the intensity of the summertime greenery.  It was a far cry from the scattered and sparse greens of my western home.  The greens of summer are overwhelmingly, shamelessly, stunningly, assertively, powerfully green.

It is also true that the completed green landscape of summer is arrived at only after the passage through springtime.  I love the springtime in this part of the country best of all.  Springtime arrives so very quietly, with just a whisper of verdant tinges here and there.  It starts off low, near to the ground, climbing by inches up winter dark boughs.  In the very early days of spring, it is common to think you see that hint of emerald, only to be disappointed when you turn your head to actually look.  Somewhere, unseen, the impressionist painter works, day by day, to add shades of sage and mint and lime and kelly and seafoam.

Spring green signals the end of the long, gray, bitter days of winter.  Spring brings me, always, into the closing days of the school year, when all the long weeks of planning and delivering all the myriad lessons begin to come to an end, and hopefully fruition.  The days lengthen and the breezes grows soft and mild.  Neighbors and neighbors' children come out and walk and play around the grounds.  The young ones, show the growth from the winter, and there are smiles and greetings on the air.  Even as new buds open in the warming sun, our lives open up more in the gentle days of spring.  Everything seems possible, and all of us are green and new in this season.

For a woman no longer young, it is good to be reminded that all things come around, again and again, into this green time of the year.



I have been feeling that Tom and I have arrived at something that seems to me to be a quiet and relatively calm sort of intimacy.  That word, "intimacy" is very specifically what I would call what we are sharing with one another these days.

There is a belief that intimacy is about being emotionally close to your partner, about being able to let your guard down, and let him or her know how you really feel. Intimacy is also about being able to accept and share in your partner's feelings, about being there when he/she wants to let their guard down.  I am not convinced.  For months and years, we have struggled to achieve THAT kind of intimacy.  It nearly destroyed us both.  Partners, intimate partners, so benefit from the ability to move into emotional closeness with one another, but our culture has pushed us into the acceptance of this seamless, airless, impossible sort of closeness that demands that we engage in full and open disclosure of every feeling and every reaction regardless of the pain caused to a partner.  I will submit that our grandparents knew better as they lived more discreet lives that allowed for the necessity of keeping some bits of the inner life private, even from one's most intimate intimates.

We have learned, in these years, to share what is good with one another; to give with full hearts from our bounty and our joy.  We have learned, through bitter experience, to protect one another from our dark moods and doubts and bitter memories.  As we have come to be more judicious about what we share of our individual inner worlds with one another, we have gained a sense of peace and calm and gentle loving kindness.  Doing that learning has allowed us to enter into a relationship that is characterized by some of the synonyms of "intimacy:"


Nearing the End

There are two weeks of school left in this year.
I have signed my contract for next year.
The battles engendered by the language of that document rage on.
I cannot engage in that.
I will do what I have done for more than two decades; teach as best I can.
No matter what.

For now, I am just tired.
I need to finish and then rest and then consider what may come next.