It wasn’t until we moved to the mainland from Hawaii that my parents took me to an optometrist. I was four years old and essentially half blind. It explained why everything was blurry, why learning to read was so challenging, and why my eyes watered when I was focusing. Partial blindness in my left eye however, never distorted my love and perception of color.
I am pretty sure I can say that I was one of the few children who not only could sit through but enjoy Disney’s “Fantasia.” The usage of sound, color, and storytelling were huge influences on my stylistic preferences for ages to come. My favorite part is with the centaurs and pegasus. Vibrant, lively, and so full of life, it really shows what the medium of animation is capable of. I was the child always asking for more stories, more information, more stimulus but still reserved to myself. I clung to the hem on my mother’s skirts and sucked my thumb, quiet in observation or precocious in what I had to offer.
Color was, for me, not just about style, it was always tied to emotion and personality. I associated people I didn’t like with certain colors and saw those colors radiate from those people like halos. I would see footprints or hand marks on walls in yellow, orange, green and blue- all marks of different people whose energy had been there. I never questioned it until other people insisted they couldn’t. Between that and owl-eyed glasses now sitting on my nose, the colors started to fade and it became a whimsy of my youth.
Much later I started to read about auras in new-age practices and realised what had happened. Because of what other people thought, I refused to trust my own senses. It was instilled in me that my perception of the world was broken, that without external confirmation I would be wrong about what I believed to be true. Seeing these colors was my first chance to externalize my intuition about people and about the places we inhabit. My reliance on other people to confirm my world view would become a toxic dependence, and the mistrust of my senses would only grow.
Color energy and symbolism came back into my life with the discovery of yoga. The affirmation of the chakra system spoke deeply to me on a spiritual level. Combining color, elements, body and visualization into one whole system was almost like a re-awaking. I do think our experiences literally and figuratively color us. Doubt, abuse, and mistrust can muddy our reflection of the world around us, fog our view. We live in beige offices, drive down grey streets, eat artificially colored foods, and really do not always have time for the beauty that is around us.
Our perspective of the world changes how we interact with it and visa versa. To this day I am colored by doubt that was not present at the innocence of youth. It was such a clear marker for me of whom I could and could not trust. As an adult, we have to learn to communicate to understand one another. Most of us are resistant to doing this because it not only means that we have to take perspective on what they are saying, but on what we think ourselves. Knowing your own color might provide insight to different hues that a person’s ideas might present. It can show you the discolored portions of your own. There is no mind reading, one way or the other, but it by no means discounts intuition.
I know that I struggle day to day with problem solving because I try to consider so many different possibilities. The internet has made even more possibilities and even more tension between choices available. Re-learning intuition and to trust my senses has been a long path. A huge struggle in my depression is just this lack of trust if what I am doing is the right thing, the right direction, and the right reasons. And even if I learn to trust my instincts- how can I use them in a world that doesn’t even see the same colors as I do?