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www.zidao.com Apprentice harmonizer, for sheer fun. Journeywoman writer, for work and pleasure. Starting point was Iowa, current stopping point on this journey is Switzerland, with frequent pauses around the world to watch and listen to the crowd, and occasionally make comments.

Tulips 2006 for Gran ellengwallace's Tulips 2006 for Gran photoset

Monday, November 06, 2006

Crayola and the virgin's colors

Crayola was a company that could do no wrong when I was little. They were responsible for the box of 64 magnificent crayons that was perhaps the best present my parents ever gave me. They gave each one oohlala names like cornflower, burnt sienna and magenta.

They missed the mark on one key pair of colors, but I have to admit I feel a little wobbly on this point as it would not be very PC to give colors religious names. I routinely drew pictures with flowing pink and blue robes which I would have lovingly labeled bvm blue and bvm pink. If you are scratching your head, chances are you didn't go to Catholic schools as a child. I did, and tales of the BVM, short for Blessed Virgin Mary, were intertwined with art lessons where I could use my favorite colors, and princess tales from library books and angel paintings that floated around the ceilings of the church and other places we frequented.

Now I fret slightly about the impressionable minds of the young and how religions like to impress their world views upon such little minds. I thought about this earlier today as I followed the saga of evangelist Haggard, founder of a mega-church and last week when the anti-devil antics of evangelist churches at Halloween were in the news (you might have worked out by now that I'm not a fan of evangelism).

The one thing that works in the favor of at least some children, allowing them to grow into sensible adults, is that they take all the interesting bits adults hand them and weave them together in a way that suits them.

I took Crayolas and the BVM stories and perhaps a bit of Greek mythology and science lessons about weather and clouds, and I stirred them around.

To this day when I see wispy day-end clouds like these I can't help but see the swirling skirts of the BVM as she swishes along the streets of heaven, an efficient way to clean house for that son of hers who was always out talking to people. I itch to rummage around in the crayon box and pull out magenta and cornflower.

The BVM and angels and even the color names are now far in my past, but they've left a trace in the sky that I'm always happy to see.


Blogger Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I did not get BVM skies from the stories and lessons I stirred from life and Catholic schools. It is certainly nice that you did. I got more of a St. Francis of Assisi view.

I tend to think it is the sensible children who are able to take the bits and pieces, good and bad that they get from adults who become independent thinking adults. They are the ones who can find the BVM skies and leave the dogma behind.

7:04 AM  

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