I love Dr. Seuss.
He tackles large themes with rhyme and whimsy. Fables from the just beyond. Imagine if we could tackle the daunting and overwhelming things in our life by summoning these magical places full of truffula trees or a unique zoo where you can “bring back an IT-KUTCH, a PREEP, and a PROO, A NERKLE, a NERD, and SEERSUCKER, too!” (If I Ran the Zoo)
But one of my favourite books of all time that I pull out often is My Many Colored Days. And it is the subject of today’s scribble in my Book of Hours.
I have mentioned this book on the blog in a couple of posts over the years but I think the message is worth repeating.
It is such a simple concept. We all have different coloured days – sometimes minutes and hours in my house. But I forget that this is normal and that it is ok to feel the good, the bad, and the ugly. On my more tired and less than patient moments, I reprimand anyone who deviates from the standard happy, quiet, productive, and content modus operandi.
I just read that last sentence and chuckled to myself that I actually expect that from five children all at once all the time.
But it happens. I crave extended periods of time when everyone can just be “happy pink” and “it’s great to jump and just not think.” And this usually sets me up for some harsh run-ins with people who are on the opposite end of the colour spectrum to remind me that we all have different types of days.
It is ok to wake up as a tigger or an eeyore. It is ok to be busy or to go slow. It is ok to sit it out and and just be a spectator. It is ok to leap without looking. It is ok to be sad and not know why. It is ok to feel every bone in your body wanting to lash out. It is ok to feel like moving outwards and away from each other. It is ok to want to surround yourself with people physically and emotionally.
It is ok to feel.
It is all ok even if you are mixed up and can’t find the right words except for red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, gray, brown, pink, black, and all of the above.
And this is sometimes the only vocabulary my children and I can find to describe our moods and our feelings. They don’t know some of the words that could describe their current state: despairing, melancholic, petulant or enthusiastic. But they do know colours and animals.
“Well today I feel very red with a bit of black. A big black dog.”
“I feel gray and green. I don’t want to move but I’m ok with that.”
“I don’t know why it’s all purple – a deep and heavy purple! Please leave me alone.”
Our different coloured days don’t define us even if we’ve had years of black and blue. Each day there is the possibility to change colour or to repeat or to blend. Sometimes it is a rainbow vomit like when things feel so overwhelmingly amazing and scary in the same breath. But there is always the next day to welcome it all again – the never dull dazzling array of human experience. It is a palette unique to each individual. A palette with a range of colours influenced by our past and our dreams of the future.
The trick is not to judge or to condemn others or oneself. If we simply see the colour for what it is, a response to something, then we come back to centre faster. This centre within where all the colours converge, where all the frequencies of our many coloured selves that sing and dance to different tunes can coexist together.
And for a complete look through the book, watch here.
100 scribbles…hurriedly writing the here and now.