shades of life

Yesterday, I got a package. And although I knew what was inside, pulling it out made me grin like a five-year-old eyeing her birthday cake.

What was it, you ask, that delighted me so?

A paint deck. As in, every color you could ever imagine, all together in one place.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Lest you picture something small, let me tell you — it’s 11 inches in length, 3 1/2 inches thick. And it’s a good thing I’ve been working out because it sure isn’t light. It’s not just a paint deck. It could double as a weapon or possibly a baseball bat. As a multi-tasker myself, I appreciate that.

I love it. Because I love color. When I fan it open, I see possibility. I see old friends I got to know when we bought our first house. I see potential new friends.

And I see our lives.

Think about it. Aren’t people like colors? There are some who are smack-you-in-the-face orange. They’re bold and zany, unfiltered and unafraid. And then you’ve got beiges. They’re comfortable and safe and neutral. The yellows are bright and cheerful—sometimes a little too cheerful, especially if they’re those freakishly happy morning people—and the blues are soothing and relaxing. And then there are the pretentious ones who call themselves “Coral Gable Biltmore Mediterranean Mocha” when they’re really just brownish beige.

Paint colors. People. The beauty is in the variety. The beauty is in the people and the colors who know what they are and don’t try to be something else. Can you imagine a shade of green that tried to look pink? Um, gross.

I know I’m not a yellow. As much as I would love to be that cheerful person, I’m more of a contemplative teal. In some lights, teal looks blue. In others, it’s green. It can be calm and mellow, but let the sunlight in and it glows. I’m that shade.

We’re all different and unique, our own colorful variations. But put us together, unite us in one deck, and we’re powerful.

Well then. Who knew paint colors could hold life lessons? Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to do some bicep curls with my paint deck.


  1. Heather Day Gilbert
    Apr 16, 2012 @ 19:37:17

    Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE paint chips for inspiration! Just like I used to memorize the J. Crew names for colors (like “Mist!” My all-time fave color there), back when I was single and could just barely afford J. Crew on sale…

    Anyway, great post. Yes, I do think it’s fun to think “coloristically,” even about the characters we create in stories.

    Nice to find you, thanks for the twitter follow!


    • halee
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 17:36:58

      Nice to meet you, Heather! I could stare at colors all day. I nearly became an interior designer. The only problem was I can’t draw and, from what I’ve seen, it’s kinda important to sketch out your design plan without scaring the life out of your clients, lol. “No, no ma’am, that’s actually a couch. No, it won’t look quite like that, the front and back will be relatively parallel…”


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