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I have tried to address the color, red, several times, and I am finding it very, very difficult to get to.  Red is not like those softer, quieter, calmer colors.  Red is the most emotionally evocative of all colors.  Throughout human history, the red hues have held sway in powerful ways.  In fact, as I think about it, humans are not the only organisms that find the color red to be intensely attractive.  Insects, birds, and even some mammals are drawn to or aroused by the color red.

The powerful emotions that are characterized by the color red, remain problematic for me, personally:  love, rage, passion, courage, even faith.  I look back over the years, and I believe that I have made choices based almost entirely upon passionate love.  The roaring of lust and love and sensuality have, more often than not, over-ridden my normally cool analytical way of viewing the world around me.  I have never, once, ever negotiated carefully when it comes to my love life.  I fall in love, I ignore all the sensible, reasonable voices, and I plunge in head first.  I lay my heart open, and I choose to make myself entirely vulnerable.  If I love you, I will bleed for you and cry over you and hope and believe with every fiber of my being.  For all that I am cynical about romance, Valentine's Day, and happily ever after stories in general, I absolutely believe that MY story will ultimately be one of enduring, passionate, and wondrous love.  Not hearts and flowers, but a hand to hold and a dearly loved companion on life's journey -- always and all ways.

The physical imagery of the color red is a whole other thing.

 BDSM is a sexual and erotic way of intimate expression that is painted in two colors; black and red.  Leather and blood.  Black leather falls against glowing red skin.  Pain and pleasure mingled in a fiery brew that consumes everything that is not utterly pure and strong and committed and dedicated.  The red I have known; the red that I have borne in my flesh is not a fantasy painting; not a flowery story.  Red for me is struggle, and sex, and power, and connection at a level of soul that defies simple descriptions.

For me, forever, being female, if it were a color, would be red.  Blood.  Menstrual blood flowing forth, defining everyday of my adult life, washing me away in its tides, pausing only to announce the advent of my two children -- who came bursting forth from my womb, bathed in my blood.  For me, that bloody passage through the female landscape stopped abruptly and thrust me out into a cold, dark, black emptiness that forever changed how I live in my physical body.  If red represented the fullness of being alive and female, then the blackness that followed represented the utter loss of that life.

Red is just... complicated.


  1. I find red to be a cheerful, positive colour. Our boundary fence, which is very long and consists of a three foot concrete wall topped by a four foot iron palisade, is painted red, including the two gates in it. So is our window-grill work (window grills are mandatory here.) Our red is the brightest, reddest, shinyest red I can find. Over the years the paint on some of the stretches of the fence get gradually covered in lichen, but I don't mind that, it's still basically red.

    1. Thank you, Malcolm! You are right, of course. Red can be a happy, cheerful, lucky color. It is surely warming and brightening. I actually have plans to paint the inside of the house in very deep, warm reds this summer. I don't dislike the color, but I do seem to have ambivalent emotional baggage all wrapped up in red... Still learning, obviously.

  2. For me, red is celebratory, happy!



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