"Another exercise that is very effective is walking on colours. Pick out all the reds on a street, focussing only on red objects-brick, lights, sweaters, signs. Shift to green, blue, orange, yellow. Notice how the colours begin to stand out more sharply of their own accord. I was walking on yellow when I saw a yellow amphibious jeep near the corner of of 94th Street and Central Park West. It was seven feet tall and had played the Thing in a horror movie of the same name, and everybody called him the Thing, though his name was James Arness. I hadn't thought about the Thing in twenty years, and would not have thought about him except walking on yellow at that particular moment." - William Burroughs.
It begins as an average colourwalk. Feeling emotionally drained at present I'm not particularly inspired by a seeping grey day as we roll one and follow red to match the stress of the dying throes of this year. I imagine a molten volcano and fall forward into:
Argos red god of Christmas cataloging wanting want want
++ + Red rubbish bins + ++
Red no entry
Red tomatoes in markets lit like xmas trees
Red brick old parish church to Robert Owen's tomb
Red house to let sign
Red light red light
Red winter pansies…
…and here a sleight-of-hand a swift-switch a jolt awake to yellow pansies nesting in my nan's front garden faces swaying like baby birds my daughter Rhiannon is just over two years old her yellow hair falls in spiral ribbons and a grinning face like the sun and suddenly she is everywhere yellow hair yellow pansies yellow leaves ripple like her laughter double yellow lines follow the yellow brick road (we love that film) winter flowering mahonia bright like her smile tiny flowers beach ball yellow. I feel warm and genuinely smile for the first time today.
The church bells ring. A moment drains into grey.
We come full circle and roll again, red. Again, red. Again, red. Is the dice loaded? But she is back, laughing through the town red hair bows hanging like Christmas decorations she is a Red Cross my saviour warm red blanket red farm wellies red animal rescue she has her own menagerie of saved souls now…
I've never experienced this before on a colour walk. Returning to The Drawing Room in the depths of a greying winter day I'm steeped in yellow sunshine with a heart of red sunset. I message Rhiannon to tell her and ask if she's okay. The reply - "Hey ah that's cute! Yeah I'm fine, just been working as per, see you tomorrow!"