The bedroom I left in late December of this past year was grey. In a reactionist swerve away from the key lime pie green of middle school, Dad and I covered the walls with an adult ashen grey—the shade of embers found in the heart of a fire that is just beginning to die. With my new wall-mounted bookshelves and IKEA furniture, it looked like the bedroom of someone who wants a PhD in something eventually. I really liked it, so the room stayed like that throughout high school.
But there was little color or light. The only window in the room faced away from the sun. It opened out underneath the deck. After reading Jonathan Safran Foer and listening to an art prof who said “Forms and colors can speak directly to human emotion. Does this red square speak to you? Any hands?” I began to see how color can speak to my spirit and alter the emotions I have about present life as well as memories of the past.
Going to school in Seattle, I became well aware of how color, or rather, the lack of color can compound my depression, something I have quietly dealt with since middle school. For me, depression is greyness: being void of emotion. And if there are emotions, they are sadness and self-loathing. They occasionally leave me numb. And there I was, standing on a hill in Seattle, surrounded by grey clouds. It could feel like the earth was reaching to dip me into those clouds and swirl me in them like a stick of lint-flavored cotton candy.