Friday, March 03, 2006

So, Lolly's Project Spectrum is well underway. I had every intention of casting on my pink project, picked out months ago, and waiting in my extremely organized sweater bag, in line in the queue.

But, you know what, I'm not feeling pink. I'm off the pink.

But, red on the other hand . . .

I'm reading this book right now, the Ice Queen, by Alice Hoffman. The main character is a lightning strike survivor(among other very complicated, screwed up things), and as a result of the strike, she loses the ability to see the color red --"I didn't say a word when I noticed the Jello I was being offered was the color of stones. The nurse herself, not more than twenty-five, appeared to have long white hair. The flowers my brother and his wife had brought me seemed dusted with snow. I understood then. I had completely lost the color red. Whatever had once been red was now cloudy and pale. All I saw was ice; all I felt was the cold of my own ruined self . . . why the absence of a color would affect me so deeply I had no idea, but I suddenly felt bereft. I had lost something before I'd known its worth, and now it was too late."

While attending support group meetings as part of lightning strike study, she learns of another strike survivor, who was actually dead and transported to the morgue. Drawn to him, she buys a dress, and seeks him out at his orange orchard. The organges hang from the trees, like snowballs, and she waits on his front steps, wearing what she thinks is a white dress. He tells her later, he may never have opened the door but for the red dress . . .

As she begins to heal, red returns, "On the way to my brother's house I saw flashes of red everywhere. I suppose I was recovering. Or maybe I was hallucinating, imagining what I wanted most to see. The sign on the mini mart flashed so deeply crimson it took my breath away. Had such ridiculous things been beautiful before and I simply hadn't noticed? I stopped, pulled into the lot, went inside the market, to the fruit aisle. Wrapped lettuce, cucumbers, peaches, lemons, and then, at last, a single pale apple, blushed on one side as if filled with life, with blood. I bought the apple and ate it in my car. It was delicious, all the more so because of its color."

I've been very affected by these passages (of course, that could be because I read right before I go to bed, following a couple of glasses of white wine . . .). As I've written before, I'm always struck how a life can be changed in a second, a heartbeat -- a missed field goal, a moment of bad judgment, or with one foreperson, rising, and uttering a verdict that will inevitably, change lives, and now, by a color . . . if she hadn't worn the red dress, he would not have opened the door . . .

So, I haven't picked a red project - I don't know if a red project is going to strike me (especially since I'm half way down my thigh with top down, and I have a grey project lined up to go on needles, and a blocked what I have of lacy cardigan to make sure it's going to fit . . . ), but I am going to devote March to being aware of red . . . and knowing it's worth before it's too late.

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