Color story #13: The blue of blue

(Yes, Linda! Spring, blessedly, is coming!)
The other day, my daughter asked me what my favorite color was, and I irritated her the way I sometimes do by answering this question with one of my own: “To look at, or to wear?” Because it does make a difference, or it should in theory…even though after the bothersome question had slipped my lips, I realized that in that precise moment it made no difference at all. The color was one and the same. “Blue.”


Often my answer is some shade of green. Sometimes it’s a specific shade of gray—”mouse.” Yesterday it was joyfully and unequivocally, blue. After the winter we and so many others have had, I could have added “And by the way: any blue will do. Even the smallest, weeniest littlest, palest-faced patch.” But I didn’t need to qualify it, because as we were playing this little game, the sky outside was shouting a very decisive answer of its own.


Electric blue! Clean blue! That precise blue that gave birth to the very concept of the color! That oscillates spectacularly—at lightening speed—between being a frigidly cold color and a flaming hot one. The blue of a cold wet winter giving way to what will, if we hold our breath, become another summer that children’s dreams are made of. Nordic and tropical all at the same time. Polar and equatorial. Shallow, deep. Frivolous, dead serious. Cruel, profoundly benevolent. That blue that seduces people out of their homes, underdressed, just to catch a ray of light even though the temperatures are anything but worthy. The blue of all blues. There’s no way I could have answered her question otherwise.

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6 Responses to Color story #13: The blue of blue

  1. cecilia says:

    So hard to vote. I am always drawn to red, all reds, I have walls of reds and (to wear) blue. You know it is very irish to answer a question with a question. I wear a lot of white but today I have had enough of white and grey, even that soft blueish dove grey that you find on the underneath of a common grey mourning doves wings. I ordered a skirt made for me the other day, they use their own organic cotton and literally dye the fabric to your directions, then make the garment, it is my treat and really the only way to get made in america clothiing, it is just a simple pencil skirt and I had a whole pallette of colours to choose from and i Zeroed in on the red without any thought. Bam. RED. (though I also wear a LOT of black, which is now the dreaded grey from a winter of washing. ! There now .. does that answer your question? Loved your blue shots, especially the shutters.. what a glorious day you had. your friend, celi

  2. Where did you order the skirt from? Do they have a website? Some day I’ll have to do a blog about Italian tailors and all the little shops that make clothes in little laboratories. I love that connection to clothes…kind of like knowing where your steak really comes from…I digress. I am waiting eagerly for your next post…Ton, y’know. Can’t stop thinking about him.

  3. dayphoto says:

    Blue is always and foremost my favorite of all colors! Always, since I was small enough to ‘see’ colors. My Momma always was amazed at that, as most children love red. As school age came and my crayola box would wear down it was always blue that broke first, then peeled and broke again. Even when there were HUGE boxes of Crayola’s (finally) to choose from all the blues wore out first.

    Even today I gravitate to blues any and all shades of blues. I throw in yellow and sometimes green or a blossom of pink…just to help the blues along.

    ♬♬♬ Happy Saint Patrick’s Day ♬♬♬

  4. Debra Kolkka says:

    Green has always been my favourite colour. I have green toenails as we speak.

  5. Eha says:

    Earth tones for me since I thought of colour as a teenager! And for all the homes in which I have lived ~ begin with white and cream, go on to deeper beiges, brown, the grey palette and sometimes into black . . . there I am comfortable. Have just ‘walked the house’ and opened my wardrobes . . . nought else there . . . Boring ‘no’, subtly soothing and comfortable, oh ‘yes’ 🙂 !

  6. anna says:

    I’d have to say red (ever since I was a teensy kid) – varying shades, densities…. but I wear tons of black – you may or may not remember.
    But then I’ll be taken aback by a by a shocking shade of blue… turquoise! bleu outre-mer! robin’s egg! and ready for this…. bleu luzien! – yes there is a shade of blue that is specific to St Jean de Luz, where my family is from.
    And so yes, blue. Not all blues, but some. Amazing.

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