Canvas

Posted: November 30, 2014

Love is a blank canvas, and you’re free to paint it with whatever colour you want, says this post!

One of the top 5 entries for November’s Muse of the Month writing theme, with the cue “The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”  from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

April 2014I spent half my life looking for that perfect shade of crimson. Only I knew what exactly I wanted. And I wanted it bad. I would keep coming across a lot of maroons, violets, and purples. And I was like No! No! No! I want crimson! Sometimes, I would get tired of searching. It was at those moments that I would ponder over vermilion for a while, or toy with the idea of giving the cherry red a chance.

In fact, at one time, the magenta looked sort of nice too. But none of them made me jump up and down screaming – This is what I was looking for! That’s my colour! I didn’t know what it was about crimson that I craved so much. Every time I wondered if I would ever find my perfect shade, I shuddered. Every time I wondered if crimson really existed, I shuddered. Crimson is only red, my friend said, shrugging. Maybe she was right, I thought. But something told me that I should wait. And I did.

And then, one day, when I was least expecting it, I found my colour. And it was not crimson. It was not even close. It was actually a chocolate brown. I could see it was the wrong colour. But I instantly knew this was what I had been looking for. And I dived headlong into it – into the warm, bottomless, mushy chocolate brown. And while I swam happily in its soft fudginess, the crimson that always eluded me surreptitiously came, melted, and dissolved in the chocolate brown, creating a shade that was so exclusively mine that every time I looked at it, my heart exploded into a million shimmery silver stars.

As I swam deeper and deeper in it, I made amazing discoveries. Who could have imagined that it actually changed colours?! Often, there would be bursts of cardinal red, burning hot and high, gushing up from the unknown depths, scorching everything in its way. But, it would retreat as quickly as it came, leaving me basking and breathless in the sultry, fuzzy envelope of its memory and pining for the next outburst.

Then there would be days when it would be a dark, brooding gray – stiflingly opaque, weighing down on my heart, making me wonder whether it’s worth going on.

Then there would be days when it would be a dark, brooding gray – stiflingly opaque, weighing down on my heart, making me wonder whether it’s worth going on. But I would go on anyway. And as a reward for my perseverance, the gray would always fade, shade by shade, to a steely gray first and eventually to silver gray, before turning – surprise! – daffodil yellow!

It’s the kind of yellow that holds the warmth of a thousand splendid suns and I would feel thankful that I didn’t give up. It’s the kind of yellow that promises that my world could be gloomy gray or murky brown, bright orange or lovely pink, soothing green or icy blue, but it would never be an impenetrable black.

Gradually, the rich chocolate brown mellowed down to a cozy caramel. By this time, I knew my way around so well that I didn’t even have to swim. I could just close my eyes and float. But that didn’t mean I would stop making discoveries. Some parts of the caramel are so transparent that I could see right through them, while some are shrouded in a thicker, smoky, mysterious burgundy that somehow keeps the going strong.

I persevered upstream, and I glided downstream; I bathed in waterfalls, I held my breath in rapids; I danced with the waves and surfed the tides; I battled the currents and found hidden treasures deep down. And somewhere along the way, I realized that love has the colour I want it to have. I realized that I was holding the paintbrushes all this while, and the colours that I saw were actually colours from my own soul, projected through my eyes; and that I could choose whether to douse the canvas in thick black or make it erupt in sweeps of red, orange and yellow, or paint intimate intricacies.

I dipped my brush in chocolate brown, and my canvas exploded in a rainbow. And the crimson? What crimson?

pic credit: Image of colours via Shutterstock.

Anwesha Ray

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Comments

2 Comments


  1. Another gem from you Anwesha! This is so beautifully written, I am touched.

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