30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 18

18. Your favorite color and why

When I was a kid, my favorite color was red. I couldn’t tell you why– I guess I was askedin Kindergarten and it was the first color to come to mind. I probably really liked a red dress I had (even though to this day I remember my favorite dress as being yellow).

(Maaaaaaybe not as high-risk a situation in my case…)

Then, by high school, I started opting for purple. It was more subdued than red, and better with my changing complexion. I was one of those girls who “did my color wheel” to find the best colors for me (I’m an Autumn).

My mother taught me purple
Although she never wore it.
Wash-grey was her circle,
The tenement her orbit.

My mother taught me golden
And held me up to see it,
Above the broken moldings,
Beyond the filthy street.

My mother reached for beauty
And for its lack she died,
Who knew so much of duty
She could not teach me pride.

 

I remember learning about this poem in high school, but I probably haven’t read it since. Looking at it now… I know why it stuck. Purple is the color of royalty– for very practical reasons: it was a difficult and expensive color to acquire and use in the age of kings. So purple was something special. In the poem, we see that being “something special” is not limited to those of financial means. People need to be reminded of this… that we are more than our individual circumstances and our voices should not be ignored because we’re not wearing designer clothes. (The tenement was never my orbit, however. I comprehend and appreciate my privilege, especially as a Hispanic American.)

In college, I was invited to join a sorority. Sigma Sigma Sigma International Sorority kind of sealed the deal for me in terms of loving purple.

Today I still gravitate towards purple, even though there’s a solid amount of red in my wardrobe again. Here’s to coloring our world in every way possible.

 

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