Here is a short review of my color history, not that any of you were asking. When I was young and someone would ask, “what’s your favorite color?” I had a ready answer: “Post blue.” Now, there really isn’t a “Post blue” within the Pantone world, but a few of us in my family favored “Post blue,” a shade that probably resembled the blue eyes several of us shared.
I rebelled from (or grew out of?) “Post blue” when I turned 13 and was given the chance to redecorate my bedroom. I chose orange and a shade of green my detractors called “peuce,” said with a certain tone. This was 1972, after all. Remember avocado kitchen appliances? (Five years later when I went to college, the room was quickly and quietly repainted a serene lavender.)
I still like that shade of green, all these years later. And I’ve filled my life with that “signature color” of green. While that green remains within my closet and stationery drawers and in other parts of my life too, another color has been making itself at home.
As so often is the case, my unconscious persona knew long before the “conscious Linda” did. Over the last decade or so, purple started appearing in my life in unexpected places: a purple mug and teapot, green and purple frames for my glasses, a purple-green-orange table runner, and the list goes on. Last month it finally dawned on me. (Humor me, I’m a slow learner.) I think it all was revealed to me the day I was wearing a purple sweater with my purple coat and purple hat while receiving a call from the shoe store telling me my special order purple shoes were in! Yes, it’s official. I admit it. I love the color purple.
Most of you are likely familiar with Jenny Joseph’s 1961 poem, “Warning,” that begins with the phrase “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple …” (Joseph was only 29 at the time she wrote “Warning.” What insight!) I can’t help but think of that poem these days. It’s the final stanza that causes me to chuckle.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Next month I’ll turn 56 and that’s not old, to be sure. But I do spend time these days reflecting on what that next stage of life will be for me. Where is God calling me? I’ll claim my love affair with purple as one piece of practice for that day when I will be old!
P.S. And because what self-respecting Christian woman, when writing about purple, doesn’t include a reference to Lydia? Especially since we commemorated her last week (along with Dorcas and Phoebe) on January 27th? Well, Lydia, you rock! There are so few words said about you in the New Testament, but you were one bold woman and for that I say “thanks!”
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director.
Photo by the author; used with permission. And yes, those are but a few of the purple items that have entered her world in the last decade or so.