Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – January 4, 2004
The Colour Red
Short Stories From 10 years Ago – January 4, 2004 – Just try to imagine life without it – the colour red! Until you actually think about it, you may not realize just how prevalent it is in our everyday lives and how much meaning it bestows on our attitudes and in our culture.
The Age-Old Call:
“Red sky at night – sailors’ delight . . .
Red sky in the morning – sailors take warning.”
These simple words could instill delight or dread in the minds of a ship’s crew. During the coming day – Mother Nature would either punish or reward. Since the dawn of time – we associate different things with ‘red’ and it has the power to make us undergo many emotions. It is a bold, primary colour. Think of the following things and see if they don’t elicit some feelings, either from a past memory or a present experience:
Tanned legs and painted red toenails in pretty summer sandals, red lipstick, Dorothy clicking her red shoes in her quest to get back to Kansas with Toto, a man in mid-life crisis with his new red sports car, the beauty of red poppies, the mysterious red-headed woman, ‘red’ alert – the final stage of a warning, red-blooded, sexy red lingerie, red-carpet treatment, the red digital numbers on your clock radio.
What about red-eyed, The Red Eye, The Red Cross in times of peril, the British red-coat solider, in the red (ink), flushed red with embarrassment or anger, the red embers of a dying fire, a red flare of warning or distress, the incitement of radical social or political change, red ants, the red rose of passion, the red-red robin, the comforts of Grandmother’s red-brick home, the aggressive childhood game of Red Rover, Christmas without hues of red. Impossible!
Nature even gets in the game with raspberries, strawberries, peppers, beets, apples and the delicious robustness of red wine.
Santa dressed in a blue suit – I don’t think so, hot flashes, Mars – the red planet, ruby-red and war-torn battlefields stained red with blood. What about a green stop sign – never, the red power suit for women, the symbolism of a man’s red tie, the red book of new ideas and change. Imagine a garden with no red flowers. What about brown fire trucks? Flags of the world with no red? Yellow ketchup? Try to picture a woman’s yellow suit at a professional conference – she’d look more like a daffodil – great if she is the president of the horticultural society. How about business executives or world leaders wearing green and pink striped ties. It’s just not the same!
Red is everywhere – taunting us, challenging us, making us aware, coaxing us to think, offering up its drama and its boldness – ours for the taking. So the next time you’re planning an evening out or thinking about how to impress your boss – remember the colour ‘red’. After all, can you imagine ‘Wonder Woman’ coming to rescue you dressed in brown, Superman with a green cape or a dashing pirate leaping to your defence with a powder blue bandana tied around his neck. Me – I’d go for the pirate in red any day – and I’m grateful for its vibrant contribution to life!