Sometimes, lights and shadows coalesce in such a way that the world is sheathed with gray. In an instant, it seems like all colors disappear and nothing is left but the sheer wonder things stripped bare. It’s sad, but it’s also beautiful. Then your eyes adjust and color suddenly explodes. The wallflower blue blends with the green naturalness of the earth, sometimes flecked with bold hues of red and obscene shades of yellow and orange. It’s like being drugged really, seeing colors like that.
I’ve always associated the color gray with Mondays, Januarys, birthdays, beginning of semesters, the first day in another rented house before the unpacking starts, the frontispiece of a supposedly boring novel, the opening riffs of a song I hear for the first time, even the moment at the airport when I hear the plane which I will be boarding approach, sounding like a sonic boom.
Then it starts to taxi in the runway and a switch will suddenly flick inside my brain and the moment is over. Beginnings are scary. It’s like peering inside a particularly dark tunnel where, like a black hole, even light cannot permeate. When I look at the calendar as January rolls around, it’s like February and the ten other months stare back at me like Nietzsche’s abyss.
Then, as one by one I turn the pages of my weekly planner to schedule a deadline or a meeting or an exam, the colors explode, but they do it slowly and you can’t even feel the months passing. I can only look at it in retrospect, maybe next January. I think that is the only redeeming factor of that first month – the chance to look back with a different perspective. It’s like going to the cinema alone and watching a particularly long epic with bad editing. Sometimes I can’t make sense of it but then at least I killed time. Not that I’m lonely and have nothing to do, but it’s rather fascinating how things grow stranger and stranger and the more it does, the more interested I am in knowing how things would turn out. Plus ça chose changer, plus ça même chose. The more things change, the more they remain the same. That French adage vindicates me of the guilty feelings I get whenever I think about how the years changed me. The paradox is fascinating.