Growing up there wasn’t a thing I liked about the color blue. Home was walled white with black and white Japanese hanging prints, glass topped tables and smooth black lacquered chairs upholstered white; white baby grand. In contrast, blue was the color of sadness, of the sky where the angry father god lived, white beard trailing through the ethers, accusing finger pointing straight at me. The wild blue yonder reeked of bombs dropping their pods of death onto victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I memorized color in nature; spinach-hued ivy leaves, viridian pine, the foliate domes of camphor, bucolic stretches of eucalyptus-lined seasonal streams. A fruitless olive wept over verdurous grass while the sycamore my father planted in a hoed-up hillock in our front yard, the tree I was told I’d have to wait fifteen years to climb, stretched tangled roots into dun-colored earth. The kelly green of three-leaf clover spread before me like a sea where I sat for hours as in meditation, picking through to discover the uncommon four, while the rhythmic kuff of my father’s shovel hitting dirt paced with vole-like intensity, carving out a fallout shelter beneath our home. In the face of the ‘fifties, green smelled of eternity, the future, something like hope my young self could aspire to.