Yellow is the most pleasant color; I could listen to it for hours. I find it an impossibility to refrain from a smile at its high and cheerful tones. There is no other color which can lift my spirit above the lamentable reality that I was not given the gift of sight, not for a mere moment of time.
At a young age, I was given to fits of rage at the mention of color. It was the antagonist, so to speak, within the story I lived every day. To me, color seemed to be a reckless obsession among those who are sighted. Mostly to avoid embarrassment, I supposed, my father and mother would quietly remind guests to avoid speaking of colors within my hearing.
As I grew older, I felt convicted that it was unfair to place the burden on those who are sighted. Color seemed a beautiful thing to most people, and it wasn't right for me to insist on its silence. But for me, I could never have the same genuine appreciation of visible color.
Well intended people have attempted to describe color to me. "Blue is a cold color," or "red is hot," they will usually say. It is certainly not to disparage their efforts, because it is always done with love, but their perception of color did not translate into something meaningful for me. When, on hot days, they admired the blue sky, I felt frustration that my mind could never resolve the contradiction. I resigned to the frustrating discomfort of the only "color" I could comprehend: Blackness.
That is, until I filled the sky with a concert of grand pianos.
When my struggle to understand color was met with my fondness of music, I chose to redefine color. My musical “colors” were all that could elicit in me the same emotions that my sighted friends feel with visible color. I began to listen closely to the words they used when talking about particular colors, then I assigned an instrument: “Majestic green,” a trumpet; “red hot,” a violin; “cheerful yellow,” a flute. White seems to be a special color. It is always used with words like "pure" or "good." Some even tell me that it isn't really a color. That certainly didn't make it easier, but for white I chose a harp with its pure, unblemished sound.
I enjoy walking by the rose garden near Forest Park. As my walking partner describes the fascinating mixture of colors around me, a symphony of beautiful music builds in the ambiance of my imagination. It's as if I can actually hear it, and perhaps I can. I cannot help but to smile in response to the concert of colors. Sometimes, I feel as though I appreciate color now even more than a sighted person.
Now my life is filled with the enjoyment of color, as much as anyone else. For me, my favorite color song is played by the sunset:
The flute plays along with the piano blue sky,
making a most pleasant sound!
Some days if you listen, a harp is on high,
sitting in white puffy clouds.
As day comes to close, flute no longer does sing,
but enters the orange saxophone.
Then a bow drawn on strings makes it a beautiful thing,
a reddish and hot color tone.
A fun purple hue is a special delight,
when the sky plays electric guitar.
Rock and Roll sounds that light up the night,
ends a concert of colors afar.
It’s a musical painting, with colors galore,
that God painted and splattered and swirled.
I may be blind, but I’ve seen even more,
that it’s a colorful, colorful world.
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