We all get asked what our favorite color is. This happens most often as a child, though it still gets asked as an adult from time to time. Mine always seemed to change. Green was frequently my favorite, but i did go through times when other colors, like deep intense orange was my color of choice.
Today, the color that seems to have the most power over me is midnight blue. The color of the night sky just before it goes all black, when there is still some of the Sun’s photons bouncing around the air above me. The moon may be shining, and most stars are out. Then all is surrounded by this incredibly darkest of dark blue… it looks black until you realize it is almost glowing, this underlying blue, almost purple…so very intense and, for me, awe-inspiring.
I remember my brother once telling me that certain colors sometimes can manifest very strong emotional responses in him. I think this may be a mild form of some brain chemistry wiring that allows for colors to become ’emotional’. Some people have conditions that enable them to ‘see’ sounds as colors and hear ‘colors’ as musical notes.. This reminds me of an interview I heard once. I forgot who was being interviewed but he was talking about his childhood and that in the theater the lights would go dim and the orchestra would start playing. He saw intense colors when the music was played. He thought the lights were dimmed so everyone could see the music! Okay, i am a bit sidetracked here, but this little excursion illustrates the nature of what ‘reality’ actually is. Say only about 0.001% of humans ‘see’ sounds… Society would say that these 0.001% of people have a disorder, they are not experiencing reality properly. What happens when we increase that percentage to 1%? 25%? What happens at 50%?! We do not say that all women have a reality disorder because they are not men! So, what is ‘real’?
In Zen, seeing clearly what is, is very important. Who is to say what is clear sight then? the 99.999%? The Enlightened beings? Who? The answer is, well, crystal clear.
So, back to color. I am reminded of a story my high school math teacher told the class. His friend asked him what his favorite music was and he replied ‘whatever I am listening to must be my favorite of that moment or why would I have chosen it otherwise?’
It was a simple story but for me it resonated and was the most important lesson I learned from that class (even though i loved that pre-calculus class!), I learned that picking your own personal favorites, whether music, colors, foods, people or whatever, and being loyal to those favorites is actually being unloyal to your own experiences, It restricts you from finding new favorites and it binds you.
My favorite color? They all have a different place in my heart. Sometimes my heart is happy and loves yellow, sometimes it is reflective and loves midnight blue. Sometimes my heart feels clear and loves white. So can i actually have a favorite? I don’t know. When i see midnight blue, however, something intensely powerful happens in my gut. I feel as though I am absorbing the cosmos into me and seeing secrets held billions of miles away. It feels like I am experiencing the pumping blood of the Universe pulsing through my heart-mind and, if it wanted to, could easily overpower me. I am left in awe, and in deep respect. It is the Universe perceiving itself, always.