What do Virginia Woolf and Joni Mitchell have in common apart from being fabulous? The answer isn’t really a revelation, but it is nonetheless pleasing to ponder. Both artists marry green and blue in their writing as if they were painting a landscape. I have an endless gallimaufry of blue and green things and, more generally, they are colours that feature everywhere. My own eyes are bluey-green and oh the whole planet is a green spangled blue ball. Obviously, they’re the two most prevalent colours in nature and so of course it is a common pair, but their emboldening is striking. They are a running theme in Woolf’s short stories, most explicitly in Blue & Green (who would have thought). “The light slides down the glass, and drops a pool of green” and “A wave rolls beneath the blue bells.” The whole of Joni Mitchell’s album is entitled Blue, and then there’s the song Little Green. The sun may have “poured in like butterscotch” but that’s a single strip in folds of blue reiterated upon shades of green.
I don’t pretend to have any authority on colour coordination, at all. Nor am I going to go into detail over the meaning of individual colours, though there are scores of interpretations. My evidence is scanty too, because you could probably do this with any colour. Take the Big Yellow Taxi and The Yellow Submarine. Am I reading too much into this? Probably, though I am not actually assigning any significance to this meditation. The only purpose of my wittering is to bring forth the rudimentary notion of colour as an inspiration. Moreover, I feel it is particularly enticing that it is those colours that impact art so much, since that’s the basic worldly composition. It shows the precise reworking of the creative mind of something as basic as colour and enlarging it, throwing new light on it, refreshing it. This in turn engenders a new found excitement with something that tends to go unnoticed. How many times did one look at the sky only because the sunset flushed the clouds pink? The untainted blue stretch is often less inspiring, but art (be is lyrics or short stories) brings out a newly sculpted version of it, one with renewed power. Colours are never “just colours”, same way a kaleidoscope is endlessly beautiful and stimulating.
Another reason I mention blue and green is because of a dream I had a while back where everything was screened with the said colours, including my skin. It was peaceful, though quite exhausting to wade through the substance which seemed thicker than water, but I did not drown. It was odd, to say the least, but hey, it makes one all the more grateful for variety.