Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Color Series: Brown

Taking a bit of a blog break right now, and re-posting the Color Series while I'm away. 
Hope you enjoy:


I thought I was a blond for years. My mom single-handedly contributed to this belief, always commenting on the gold highlights she could see in my hair in the sunlight. And I was blond for a while, as a toddler and through my preschool years. My hair was light enough to draw a lot of attention when my parents were traveling with me in Japan. Who can really say when I passed from blond to brown? It happened gradually, and the moment I accepted it and moved on was probably a quiet one, fueled by my desire to avoid a well-meaning friend telling me (again) that if I was a blond, I was a dirty-dishwater-blond, at best. Brown seemed more appealing.

I learned how to embrace the color. Pale and golden is lovely, but brown has depth. I still find blond strands sometimes, but also black, auburn, caramel, and increasingly these days, white. Nobody ever accused me of being the fun girl, anyway. I was the one who went to the Sting concert and sat and listened. (I had a fabulous time, too.)

I find I like that quality in brown—it might not reach out and grab you, but if you stop and pay attention, you will always find something there. It is warmth, and depth, and richness all around. Imagine dessert without the color brown: a world without chocolate, butterscotch, or hazelnut. Consider life without all the brown spices: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin. Brown is soil and tree bark and sleek forest creatures you almost didn’t see. Hardwood floors. Rembrandt, Stickley, sepia-toned photographs. Every shade of skin imaginable. The stuff of the earth.

Then there’s coffee. I decided to start drinking it in college—partly because I wanted to seem more mature, and partly because I really wanted to appreciate the flavor. I loved the smell of coffee, and learning to enjoy it seemed like a good challenge. Did it have something to do with being able to drink bitterness and say it was good? I’m not entirely sure. But I love it now, the darker the roast the better, rich and hot in a generous mug, the perfect companion for reading a book, talking with a friend, writing at my desk before anyone else is awake. Perfect for probing the depths of my connection to this world.

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  1. I love this post. . .

  2. Brown is my favorite color. It took a lot of years to admit that because I was pretty sure no one was supposed to like brown. But I do. I love it. And just like the first time I read this post, that photo makes me crave some good coffee. And some quiet place to sit and write. At a lovely brown wood desk.

    1. Brown is fabulous. Chocolate alone should be enough proof of that! And now you've got me thinking about all sorts of other good, brown things. It is surely a severely underappreciated color.


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