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NOTE: Expressive language often in use.


Yellows And Defining The Beast

Yellow is repeatedly voted the least favorite color in the world. Only 5% of people favor it. Of course, as an artist, I can't help asking myself why that would be. I love yellow! (Now, anyway.) Yellow is associated with happiness, enlightenment, and positive energy; however, it can also be sickly (ex. jaundice) and cowardly. Realistically, it all depends on the yellow and your interpretation as a result of who you are, wouldn't you agree?

I love the purer, brighter yellows, but I also love mustard... the color, not the food (bleh!). Personal preference. See the yucky yellow above? I love that color in the autumn. Yes, my color preferences can be seasonal. Yes, I know that's odd. I know quite a few people who chose blue as their favorite color and stuck to that like glue over the course of their lives. Incidentally, blue is the global favorite. I can appreciate that kind of fave color stability, but I definitely can't relate, lol. I have more color phases than Picasso by far!

Yellow on the sunnier side of the spectrum connotes positivity. Blue has its positive aspects, as do each of the other colors, but most have their negatives as well. Peculiarly, orange and violet bear no negative inference. Of the negative color connotations within the spectrum (depression, violence, anger, greed, jealousy, etc.) why is yellow's cowardice the worst of the lot? Perhaps it's the most unrelatable color? Is cowardice unrelatable? Not exactly. Look around. Either way, that's clearly not the same shade as sunny yellow.

My suspicion is this: I think people feign their happiness and yellows are unrelatable to those people as a result of their denial. It's common not to tell strangers the truth regarding your emotional state. You don't just dump a load on everyone you meet. But I'm not a surface kind of person. I dig, even into strangers. As a result of my digging, I discovered that when it came to emotions most of them were full of crap. I was a bartender in a variety of bars, from the ritziest to the dimmest hole in the wall joints. Intoxicated people told me everything! But sober peeps spilled, too. I was also a tattoo artist. What do you think happens when I'm repeatedly invading your epidermis with groups of pins for an hour or two? If we don't talk, you have no distraction from the pain. Since I hate when people are in pain, I asked a lot of questions to keep them distracted from it. (The irony, though!). Usually, by question number two the outpour began. Especially on those days I worked alone and no one else was there to hear the dirty deets.

Cadmium Yellow

[Caption con't: Color is an important language that brings your deepest self to light and helps you communicate your obscured needs to yourself and to others. This is just one benefit of understanding art.]

I've met all kinds of people and collected the data. I'll never spill their personals in an identifying way, but it would be a travesty to not use the statistics. Anyway, upon the first ask, they were all happy. Dig a little, and they'll tell you that they suffer from depression, their dog died yesterday and they're devastated, they were molested when they were seven, and so on. I think I've learned people fairly reasonably after years of investigation. This is how I concluded they only surface happy and that's probably why they can't relate to yellow.

Looking at mental health statistics, I think I'm spot on. People simulate their happy emotional state for appearances. Fake it 'til you make it is an effective strategy so I don't fault them. However, they're often in denial and don't acknowledge the truth, depth, and layeredness of their own emotions. Therein lies the problem. Most people think that truth hurts; best to avoid it. They are correct... truth hurts like a bitch! But they're wrong in their avoidance. On the other side of hurt is health. On the other side of hurt is real happiness. Isn't it worth a moment of hurt? Granted a "moment" can last for years, but the truth of it is that a moment can last for as long as you let it.

I'm fairly certain I know hurt to a Mariana Trench depth as my babies died, one in my arms. I've suffered a great deal of tragedy throughout my life and I know all kinds of pain. I suppose that's why I'm sometimes overly empathetic. I don't want anyone to experience this degree of pain and it breaks my heart to think some have suffered worse. So when I say pain is worth acknowledging and traveling through to make it to the other side, there's gravity behind those words. That's what Plato meant in the Allegory of the Cave, btw. Go through the fire. It burns, but on the other side there is peace and beauty and everything worth hurting for.

Thing is, peeps, nothing in this life is free. Nothing. It all comes at a price, whatever your choice. But having paid some pretty steep prices, and having made it to the other side of the cave fire, I can tell you the value is in the journey and if you don't set foot down that road now, you'll have to do it later. "Later" is actually a complicated notion we'll get back to later ;)

In order to like yellow, you need to admit why you hate it. You don't have to tell the world about it. Just yourself. Love yourself enough to be honest with you. Then, cry it out, dance it out, art it out, but get it out! Do you see the metaphor? This isn't just about yellow, it's about a formula you can apply to various aspects of life from which you need to heal. If we want a better world, we must first begin within ourselves. Heal yourself and you'll contribute to healing the world. Love yourself and you'll inadvertently love the world and it will become the better place of which we speak.

"Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book shown to him by heart, and his friends can only read the title." ~Virginia Woolf Understand your own book. Or go buy something yellow you can gawk at every day. Fake it 'til you make it. It's cool if you baby-step your way there. It's not a race, but also get it done! Then everybody wins :)

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