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Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Color is the Sky?

Why is the sky blue? It's a child's question still contemplated by those of us long removed from childhood.
One answer takes me away from details of scattered light, refraction or water droplets on specs of dust. Why is the sky blue? It isn't. 
Yes, sometimes the sky does appear blue, but more often it includes hues of pink and purple or orange, yellow and red, not-to-mention all the many shades of gray. If you are looking at blue sky, try harder. Peer through what your mind tells you is there to what is truly present yet missed because it isn't what we expect.  Expectations color our vision, sometimes blinding us to what we might see if we just paid attention. 
We can train ourselves to see more than blue. 
Painters know that nothing is as it first appears. Mountains really are purple in their majesty.
The more we pay attention, the more we see. At a large public event, I might first see a great crowd, but if I pay attention, I begin to see individual faces and people connected to other people in the crowd, as a family, or as friends.  If I work harder I will see faces full of happiness, curiosity, or even pain as a middle-age man gets up from his lawn chair or a child skins her knee on the gravel.
But the sky? The color of the sky may determine our attitude about where where we - how we feel. A burst of white light, surrounded by amber, under shades of pink and gray transform a mediocre neighborhood into a dutch painting where light rules the brush. 
The color of the sky has the power to thrill me on a darkened afternoon when storm clouds have all but obliterated the sun. The picture above is not a black sky.  Look again.  See the pinks and even a hint of green just to the right of center? And surely you see the crack of silver as a lightening bolt splits a small space behind the tree.

Yes, sometimes the sky really is blue, but look again - are you sure?

1 comment:

me ann my camera said...

This is a lovely post and the theme is well done.. I enjoyed all of your 'colour' ful photos!! Ann