Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow falls, precipitates flurry

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways.  Oscar Wilde

White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.  God paints in many colors; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.  Gilbert K. Chesterton

ELOQUENCE, n. The art of orally persuading fools that white is the color that it appears to be.  It includes the gift of making any color appear white.  Ambrose Bierce

Color, especially white, is rumbling rather persistently through my mind the last few days.  It has come up in in so many contexts over the years...color versus video...fabric...language...fragrance...I think about that paths white has used to enter my conscious... I like white, because it allows you to easily contemplate contour and shadow...

...the color of the good guy's ten gallon hat...GALLON water has no color...WATER makes the snow...WATER AND TEN frozen water falling now is ten times the volume it would be if it were rain...RAIN on my parade, would be embarassing if I were wearing white...WHITE is not the color of my true love's hair, but is the color I should wear if we get married.  Well, that if, plus one more "if"...

...not to mention all the white that is falling across the U.S. these past few days.  49 of 'em with snow on the ground.  Right now, thoughts are accumulating in my head as if I were in the path of lake effect snow.

Is white the absence of color, or the presence of all colors?  Depends if you are adding or subtracting.  A confluence of different approaches to one result ("white") that at the moment is making me think how both "luxury" and "art" are applied to perfume.

It's all questions today, folks.

Though I think my additive white perfume would be Douce Amere, while the subtractive would be L'Eau d'Hiver.

Does color steer our thinking?  Or does it augment it?

More ellipses....

snowscape, icicle lights, china mold, all author's own
"Snow Clouds off Lake Michigan" NASA Earth Observatory

~Lovely blog on things grammatical, including ellipses (providing clear evidence I can identify wise advice without using them in the least)
~Olfacta mentions color in the form of carpet dye (though I believe the careful reader will note an allusion); note also photo helping illustrate the snow situation, even there in the Deep South
~A while back I pondered perfume from the angle of color vs black & white; interesting to note that January seems to elicit these musings


Vanessa said...

Leve L'Eau d'Hiver, and agree that it is "subtractive" in your schema.

Now I am pretty sure that the presence of all colours is BROWN, from bitter childhood experience. I was colouring in a picture of Bambi and wondering what crayon to use for its white tail. Never occurred to me to leave it blank, and let the white paper serve as a white background.

So my brother mischievously told me to use all my crayons on top of each other and I would get white. There may be a precedent for this theory in physics, in relation to light. Maybe I am wrong about the mischief, but I don't think so. He was 6 years older than me, and knew darn well I would get a browny sludge at the end of it. Bambi's snow white tail? Not a chance. I seem to remember I was quite upset.

Vanessa said...

Leve? Clearly I am still upset, and it is affecting my spelling.

ScentScelf said...

Oh. I do remember that. I remember sitting down, and thinking, un-hunh, I'm going to add all these colors and get...ugly. A waste. (Not picking up on the potential pun there, even though I know which industries you've been consorting with, Vanessa. ;) ) Mind you, I really like "brown," the real color--many, many variations of it. Not so much the reddish ones, but...anyway...

Not nice, brother. And not nice, crayons...funny thing about white and crayons. I always noticed the texture of the paper if I let it "stand" for white, so then felt obligated to fill in with a white. But that was so tedious...ugh.

BTW, I repeated pain for myself by trying to "add up to white" with various media (paints, chalks, etc.) Perhaps this is one reason why film and stage fascinated me...pass light through gels or through processed film, and TA-DA!!! color! No mess.

Pretty expensive play, though.

Perhaps your brother thought he was giving you an important life lesson. But I am not pleased with him at the moment. Folks should not mess around in ways that change "love" to "leve."

I do love L'Eau d'Hiver myself. So "white" is reclaimed from the land of pain. :)