Day 23,714: Accepting the Orange Hue of Life.

Orange, I just found out, is my birth color. I should have known. Orange has been in my life since birth.  I was born in Orange Memorial, a hospital that no longer exists. I grew up in Orange, NJ, went to school in West Orange, and in college my team were the Orangemen. Yes, Syracuse, the Orange and Blue.  I have toyed with being a Mets fan. Maybe this will put me over the edge.

Orange was not my favorite color growing up. It was too bold for the times. I was first introduced to it when I meet a work colleague at my first job who went off to an Indian ashram and came back wearing orange robes.

Sporting Other Colors

My kids once told me my favorite color was white. They made it up. I never could figure out where they got that idea, but they would solidly tell people for years that white was my color. In one way it was. Whatever got stained that was white, had a good chance with enough bleach to come back out as a wearable white garment. Maybe they overheard me talking to the laundry one day?

As a young woman playing a work team building game, I claimed pink as my favorite color.  The guys in the office were aghast, but I stuck with it. In my thirties, as a more mature woman in the working world, I got color typed with a team of female co-workers and found out I was a winter – best dressed in black, white and vibrant blue.

It was only this week, however, as a Crone browsing the dusty shelves of my local library Colorstrology 2that I found out Orange was my color.  According to a 2005 book I stumbled upon called Colorstrology, Sun Orange is my birth month color and a much softer Muskmelon is my birthday color. Who knew birthdays had colors? In fact, it seems every day has a color. Want to find out today’s color, check out the Pantone site Colorstrology based on the book! Today’s color is Sierra standing for Activism among other things. The color for 2018 is supposedly ultraviolet.

According to author Michele Bernhardt, “a favorite color can change as you grow and evolve, and often does… Your birth color, however, is a constant. It is the key that connects your inner and outer worlds.”

The Illusion of Color

I’ve always been fascinated with color, especially since studying color theory in a seminar at Rochester Institute Technology during my years working the printing industry.  For years, I kept a Pantone book in my office to see the colors being spec’ed by designers for various projects. What I learned is that colors are an illusion because, as humans, we are limited in what colors we can even see. Moreover, each of us see colors differently.

Remember the blue dress meme of 2015? People from all over the world were looking at the same dress and couldn’t agree if it was black and blue, or white and gold.  Those two color combinations are not even close, and yet as many people saw it one way as saw it the other.

For now, I’m willing to accept muskmelon as my spirit color. Why not?  If I’m willing to have a spirit animal and spirit scent, why not a spirit color?  My Chinese spirit animal is a dragon, usually depicted in either Red or Gold. A dragon of any color always seems to breathe orange fire so perhaps, regardless of skin tone, a dragon’s essence is orange. Meanwhile, I’m semi-amused to look around my Shore house and realize I painted it largely in melon hues to match the outdoor sunsets I so admire. Unless, of course, I’m seeing it all wrong, and the orange I think I’m seeing is really some other color altogether.

Daily Focus on Gun Sanity. Orange has become one of the key colors of the gun sanity movement. While Mothers Demand Action members sport red shirts, and the March for Our Lives logo is black and blue, the End Gun Violence movement adopted orange in 2013 and every June 2 and 3 is considered Wear Orange Day.  Similar to the Parkland movement, the color coding was started by teenagers honoring the death of their friend Hadiya Pendleton in Chicago, killed at age 15 by a stray bullet. I am tempted to give to the cause  and buy an official Wear Orange hat.  But, for March 24, I’ll pulled out my old Syracuse hat. I may just stick to my roots, but I’m certainly dusting off anything orange that I own to put back into good use.