Thursday, November 6, 2008


Red was all alone. While Lime jazzed against the background, while Navy mellowed, receding to jam with Olive, while Burnt Sienna spasmed; Red was by itself, separated from the others by a large stretch of empty canvas. Red hated this composition, because it was lonely. Red's only dream was to have friends; to influence and to be influenced by. It wanted to mix its notes, it's ideas of music with all others, to become more than just Red smeared across the canvas; it wanted to become part of a stunning visual composition. Red blared his feelings across the painting, expressing the ideas of yearning and alienation to the other colors that it envied.
For weeks it blared and bugled, trumpeted and sounded, trying to communicate with them, trying to establish a friendship it so desperately wanted. But the other colors were an insular group with inflexible ideas of music, and they quickly dismissed Red's attempts at communication as the work of an amateur. They insulted and mocked him, thinking of themselves as experts and critics of their field.

“What is that din? It doesn't sound like it comes from any real color.”
“More like the sad leavings of a child's finger paints.”
“Just terrible”
“It sounds like it comes from the brownishgrey lump of stickiness that lies in the bottom of the paintbox for years, becaus-
“We understood what you meant the first time.”
“- it is so nasty looking”

But, in truth, they couldn't understand why Red was relentless in his work. So they “suffered” through Red's compositions day in and day out. And while they didn't accept his work as professional, they couldn't help but to use some pieces of his arrangements, some of the ways he liked to place loud and soft sections together, just due to the fact that they heard him playing constantly for weeks. And unknowingly, protestingly (if they did know), all of the other colors began to adopt some of Red's style on their own compositions.
But as the weeks went by with no reply from the others, Red's songs became full of doubt as it slowly began to suspect that its efforts were futile. Eventually, a tremor of insecurity crawled through its subconscious, sliming in and through the senses with a trail of wavering dreams. Red tried to brush it out of its consciousness. It failed. This insecurity was reflected in his work as a gradual reticent sound quality, a gradual quieting of volume as Red tried to convince itself that its dream was worthwhile.
Red hadn't heard their replies because he was so relentless in his own efforts. Due to the combination of the distance separating the two groups and the sheer volume of it's playing, Red was rendered deaf to their replies. So Red wasn't dissuaded by the casual cruelty of his wish-friends, despite of the doubt, it still maintained a desire to become friends with them.
As Red's playing became quieter and quieter, the other colors became filled with glee. They had formed a plan to have Red “suffer” as much as they had, and it was finally time to implement their great plan. They played, trumpeted, bugled and blared. It was extremely loud, loud enough that it caused Red to finally stop playing.
As Red listened, it quickly became aware that these songs piercing over to his lonely stretch of canvas echoed its own melodies, its own arrangements of tone and tempo, but with alterations. And even though it was not exactly to its taste, Red couldn't help but notice how arresting it was. When Red understood this collaboration with his wish-now-for-real-friends, the tremors died. It had fulfilled his dream, it had made friends with the far away colors, it had helped to create a beautiful composition. Red unfalteringly began to play again, its music now filled with an exuberant joy in success.

Another allegory, I suppose.

1 comment:

Loong said...

Very creative and insight, very close to heart metaphor.