I am such a wimp when it comes to spicy foods. A little wasabi is about all I can manage and most everything else hot just sears the lining off my lips, tongue, mouth and throat, while making other hardier souls laugh their heads off and point fingers at me, while chanting "wimp!" So, I tend not to eat curries or spicy Spanish and Mexican dishes or things with turbo-red killer chilis in them, and most salsa ain't happening for me, and jalapenos can be waved only briefly over my food before being retired at a distance. So, I can't figure out how, despite the fact that I am now missing several layers of my mastication apparatus all the way down to my esophagus, I am STILL eating these guacamole Doritos! HOLY SHIT THEY'RE HOT!
What's your favorite color? I always find that question hard to answer. Orange, I say, because orange is so cheerful and so bright and nothing rhymes with it, which means you must get creative when writing poetry involving it. But then I stop and backtrack, and Purple I say, lush plum purple, that dusty lavender color that I wear all the time and that calls to me and inspires flights of fancy and artistic arabesques...and then I stop again, arrested in mid-fancy, and Green I say, because it's so soothing, it's water and trees and growing things and a calm and peaceful presence. I surround myself with green and I accent with purple and I highlight with a splash of orange. So, green for sense of placement and purple for projection and orange for sensation and that extra kicky sense of self I toss up and down in the air like a ball (or an orange!).
And the more I think I about it, the more the colors seem to worm inside and make more and more sense to me. I find it interesting that the 3 colors I have the most affinity for are the secondary colors on the color wheel. It's not that I don't like red and blue and yellow, because I do, but when I have to CHOOSE, I go for the blends. It's not just purple, you see. It's red AND blue AND purple. And it's not just green, and not just orange. It's 3 for the price of 1. It's the blends, the shaded subtlety where you can't see where one stops and one begins that draw me.
I hesitate to say that I'm drawn to rainbows, because that conjures up visions of 60s-twisted psychedelia or children's reading rooms or gay pride parades, none of which I have a problem with, mind you, but it's not the chopped off, blocky static rainbows of quick symbol recognition that I mean. It's the presence of the blend, the mesh, the intertwining of multiple hues that the eye can't really separate, that keep drawing you on and in.
Right now, in the autumn, I am surrounded by these subtle rainbows. Maple trees flare up like candles and rainbow down their lengths, leaf-shouting in red! orange! yellow! green! until they ground themselves for good. Each Tupelo leaf burns from yellow to crimson. Chinese Pistache brings the blend to a heady artform each fall. I find them everywhere. Even cobblestones can enthrall me with their grey-purple-blue-silver glints. I've run into things when walking on cobblestones because I was literally watching where I was going.
I've realized that I am instinctively drawn to things that have these types of subtle rainbows in them: tapestry fabric, needlepoint and embroidery, floral patterns, watercolors. Many of the artists I love best specialize in them and fill their creations with color in lush and rich combinations. Sometimes I feel hypnotized by color. It's the perfect eye-drug, even if it is completely addicting. That kind of beauty is everywhere, if you learn where to look, and most of the time the highs are free.