More on Blue…and a Family Portrait

25 Apr

On Earth Day I was thinking about blue.  Still am.  And wanted to also share two comments to that post–comments that help me understand this pull to the blue side….

From Mo in Australia:  The longing for blue by Rebecca Solnit in A Field Guide to Getting Lost

“The world is blue at its edges and in its depths. This blue is the light that got lost. Light at the blue end of the spectrum does not travel the whole distance from the sun to us. It disperses among the molecules of the air, it scatters in water. Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be the color of whatever lies underneath it, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue. The sky is blue for the same reason, but the blue at the horizon, the blue of land that seems to be dissolving into the sky, is a deeper, dreamier, melancholy blue, the blue at the farthest reaches of the places where you see for miles, the blue of distance. This light that does not touch us, does not travel the whole distance, the light that gets lost, gives us the beauty of the world, so much of which is in the color blue.”

And from Grace, somewhere in New Mexico:  “Here, the first people call the Rio Grande the Blue Mother.”  I love that expression…the Blue Mother.  And because I name each bowl, I’m borrowing this… Blue Mother.


It’s overcast today.  Wet from earlier rains.  We were digging around outside, moving Santolina that was growing where a wall is coming down.  Supervised.


11 Responses to “More on Blue…and a Family Portrait”

  1. Mo Crow April 25, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

    and another favourite passage from A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit-
    “We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing. I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation on its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance? If you can look across the distance without wanting to close it up, if you can own your longing in the same way that you own the beauty of that blue that can never be possessed? For something of this longing will, like the blue of distance, only be relocated, not assuaged, by acquisition and arrival, just as the mountains cease to be blue when you arrive among them and the blue instead tints the next beyond. Somewhere in this is the mystery of why tragedies are more beautiful than comedies and why we take a huge pleasure in the sadness of certain songs and stories. Something is always far away.”
    page 30-31 The Blue of Distance


    • user107055 April 25, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

      some days it gives me such pleasure to see words that i care about and see that once again you have sent them here..or to is a pleasure and a small amazement

      gentle day to you


    • Patricia April 26, 2015 at 8:13 am #

      i’m constantly amazed at your references to writers unknown to me. makes me wonder what world i’m in that i don’t notice or come in contact with them. but just saying that, i see that through you, i have come in contact with Rebecca Solnit and will be ordering this field guide to getting lost–the title of which i love beyond the moon.


  2. user107055 April 25, 2015 at 5:31 pm #

    the blue of distance..i was thinking about this place a lot today….a place a longing for what you cannot possess ..a place you can never reach.

    Solnit wrote.

    “For many years, I have been moved by the blue at the far edge of what can be seen, that color of horizons, of remote mountain ranges, of anything far away. The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color of where you can never go.”

    .and suddenly my mind was flooded with this memory..tucked away for decades..of an unexpected experience of blue. was in a a cove in greece and my sister and our friend and i were camping in ruins above the cove..and we swam in the mornings and in the afternoons..and one day i swam out further than usual ..just for the joy and i started floating and i looked down and there was a clear distinction of depth a color change that we usually just gazed out from the shore or up on the was turquoise to cerulean to was so was so warm..the air and the water almost the could dangle your legs down and straddle the colors…it was so clear..we literally hung there . it was so still…drifting slightly from color to was one of the most joyful afternoons i can ever remember..

    it was of course not so far away that we could not go there..but it felt exactly like the color of that distance ..i don’t think we even talked then..i do not remember was so magical as if talking could make the water flow differently and this place would be gone..

    it has been very comforting ..this memory ..i know it is a memory ..but it feels concrete, warm touchable in the middle of this distance of blue

    and it also makes me smile that i can sit here at this table and reach out and touch paticia’s blue bowls…a touchstone in the blue of longing

    gentle day patricia


    • grace April 25, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

      all this B L U E and i love how so many of us are holding your basket/bowls during our days

      this Family of yours….what a Portrait. i just love the littlest, how she
      has found her place so solid in this world…


      • Patricia April 26, 2015 at 8:17 am #

        yes, the littlest one, Hopi, with the heart of a lioness and the sweetest of souls.


    • Dana April 26, 2015 at 1:07 am #

      Beautiful description Cynthia. Thanks.


    • Patricia April 26, 2015 at 8:16 am #

      Cynthia–thank you for taking me there, to the waters of Greece, where I too drifted “from color to color” from “turquoise to cerulean to sapphire”–and as i look outside, look at this mornings beautiful sky and much-missed sunshine, i am grateful for your sharings.


  3. Dana April 26, 2015 at 1:11 am #

    Patricia, the dog faces are like Dorothea Lange’s Depression portraits…so much experience and soul shining through.


    • Patricia April 26, 2015 at 8:18 am #

      yes, i see that too–their eyes. their stillness. their presence. it was a magical moment.


  4. jude April 27, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

    ha, look at them!


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