Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Photo a Week


In the spirit of actually posting on this blog more regularly (i.e., getting over my lazy self) I am beginning a new photo-a-week challenge for myself. For the foreseeable future (or until the end of the year 2006 at least) I am going to post one of my photographs each week. I will also choose a word or several words to accompany the photograph and write a bit about what these images/words bring to mind. If I really get on a roll, I might even occasionally interrupt the project to post something a bit different. We shall see.

Yellow is warm and sunny or sickly, sallow. Yellow was the color I wanted to paint my room when I was ten. I couldn’t because we lived in an apartment building where only off-white walls were allowed. It was the color of the cotton pants suit I wore the first time I went on an airplane by myself – to visit cousins in Michigan, also at age ten. It was the color of the oversized wristwatch with Roman numerals that matched the pants suit, and which I hoped was very mod. Yellow is often one of the colors in a surprisingly bad bruise – next to and mixing with the purple and pinkish and blue. Yellow is cowardly – what gangsters called each other in old black and white movies, if one of them ratted another one out, “He’s yella!” It’s the color of pears, lemons, and Ginkgo leaves in the fall, littering the sidewalk with a golden rain of rippling miniature fans. It’s the color of the grass on California hillsides, sour lemon tart, yellow curry - spicy and sweet with coconut milk seeping into rice. It’s the color of hay, the sweetish musty smell of it in summer barns, bees buzzing around the door. It’s the color of honey, sliding from the spoon onto toast, or directly into my mouth, rich and sticky. It is the color of illness on once-healthy skin, teeth on the old man who sweeps up at the barbershop; nicotine stains on someone’s mother’s pink nail-polished fingers. If you put a buttercup blossom under your chin and it casts a yellow glow, it means you are supposed to love butter. Yellow is the color of the walls in my kids’ room.