My mother coveted red hair. That’s how I first became acquainted with the longing for red. Later she painted her library red, and when my husband and I renovated our farmhouse I imitated her with a Chinese red in our library. It was so exhilarating that I used the same red on the trim in our bedroom, with light yellow on the walls. Only afterwards did I learn that these are the Tibetan colors. The combination is surprisingly soothing, like meditation. If you put a little yellow next to red it both softens and brightens, simultaneously. But it has to be a warm red and a very light yellow.
What draws you to red? What emotions or associations do you have with it? For me, a quick brainstorm brings: ‘red in the face,’ ‘in the red,’ ‘seeing red,’‘a red herring,’ the game red light, green light, and red elephant sale. Okay, okay, I guess it’s a white elephant, but none the less . . . red tape, and so on.
Why do we need the color red in our lives? Just try to imagine a sunrise or sunset, or harvest moon without the red. A New England autumn without red leaves, the telling red ring of infection, or the blush of affection on a loved one’s face. Try replacing these images with yellow, or blue (the subject of next week’s post), you just wouldn’t have the same effect. In fact, if you were seeing blue in a face it might be “code blue,” the code for medical emergency. The color red flowing in our bodies indicates the presence of oxygen. Red is life. So for now, let’s vote for red.
But seriously, regardless of whether you love, hate or feel embarrassed by the color red, you will be influenced by it. Red is one of the primary colors.
I’m in love with red. I know I said that last week about yellow, but really, red is a better color for hair. And you can’t escape red. Embarrassed or not, it follows you around like a panting dog. Or maybe a trumpeting elephant with red toenails…
So those of you who shy away from the hue, why not embrace it? For me red is the color of passion. Run past the green light and don’t stop until you’re out of breath. Wherever your passion takes you is a good place to go.
P.S. I was just in Mexico, giving a talk on philanthropy, and Mexicans like red too. I think red is universal.
What do you like or hate about red? Is there an in between? And don’t tell me pink.