When I was a little girl my father, an artist, would ask “What color are the clouds?” I would say “white” and he would smile. This went on for years and I remember thinking how silly it was. The clouds were obviously white! I thought of it as our little endearing game.
When I was about 10 years-old, my father asked the usual question and I gave the usual answer. This time he asked me to look closer. I did. He asked if I could see any other colors. I saw a bit of gold and maybe a slight blush of pink. He smiled.
Over the years, my father whose language was color, brought my vision past the obvious to the implied, the subtle, that which was maybe beyond the senses, with that simple question.
We each have a “language.” For some of us it’s color and for others musical vibration, emotional nuance, or the subtle expression of words. Whatever it may be, there is an obvious level and there is a more subtle, implied level. We have to work at going deeper, maybe over a lifetime, to experience what isn’t simply “white.”
The formula to move beyond the obvious is stillness and a full openness to experience. It requires a slow, steady presence with all that is and all that could possibly be. It means extending the virtual focal length beyond the surface and inviting in the realm of possibilities.
Today I looked at the clouds and saw shades of blue, grey and mauve. I wonder what I’ll see tomorrow.