Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sixty Four Crayons

A few years ago, when I was newer to being kind to myself I bought a big old box of crayons. It made me so happy, that later that week I bought nine even bigger boxes, the biggest I could find, and gave them to the gals in the dinner club. We all became eight years old again. We had crayon memories. And we all felt we had added to our life something we could only dream about when little girls: owning the biggest box of crayon colors out there, all new, neat, still sharp, but a sharpener built into the box. The experience elicited joy in them and a need to write about colors for myself. And so I wrote, and my recent piece on colors got me to thinking about when I did this and I went to find some of those color crayon pieces. I will post a few on the blog, randomly, here and there. And maybe I'll write a few more because when it came to the colors, I only got through a half dozen of them. I need to write about each color sooner or later.

Sixty-Four Colors

I am sitting, smiling with my new treasure. I’m not sure from where, but it came to me, I can buy the crayon box with the most colors. It can be mine. I can arrange in any order I want. I don’t ever have to use a one if I don’t want to so the box will remain new and pure and perfect. If I want it to. Back to school shopping the little girl pines after the big box. I swear the biggest was more than sixty-four colors then: as the biggest one that I can find today is sixty-four. Which is a lot. But in my dreams there were boxes of hundreds. Colors that don’t exist for our earth eyes. I want to close my eyes right now and go back to my dream eyes and find those colors again. When I was little I promised myself when I was grown I would save my money and buy a big box of crayons: the biggest box they make. Must be Crayolas. Not some substitute store brand. I had forgotten that promise until today where it came to me from somewhere in my mind. And I realized that I have enough saved now (it was $3.80, lol) to buy the biggest box if I want to. Note to self: at the stores check out crayon boxes and make sure I got the biggest one. I don’t think I was ever allowed the biggest box back then. Not practical. Yes, that was a good decision by my Mom, but at the time it’s what I wanted. I don’t think I got my son the biggest box back when we used to buy crayons for school supplies. If we went shopping today, I would. In this box there are sixty-four poems or sixty-four stories and I am new. I love the smell of the crayons. I pull out Robin’s Egg Blue. With my right hand I grab the tip with my thumb and forefinger, as close to the tip as possible. It is smooth and slick and tacky all at once. With my left hand I pinch the crayon near the tip also, just as close as I can get to where my right hand is holding. Then with my right hand I pull the crayon through my pinched left thumb and forefinger. Slowly. Below my nose. Inhaling deeply I pull. Careful not to pinch too hard so as not to rip or wrinkle the wrapper. I close my eyes. I feel the dull flatness of the paper slide through the hand until just at the end the ever so short end of exposed wax comes through. With my eyes closed I imagine I have special skills that can identify the color, Robin’s Egg Blue, with my eyes shut. Just by the feel, the weight, the sound of it. The smell of it. I know it is not true but I imagine I have these powers anyway. If I were forever imprisoned in an otherwise sensory deprived state with just a box of new crayons and I worked on it with total focus could I train myself to know the crayons by smell, weight, feel, without sight? There has to be something inside them that makes them different and it has to be more than color. Warmth, coolness. Personality.

From the front left, working to the right across the front row, then second from left to right, then third, left to right and last, the fourth, last row, left to right ending with colors most basic:

Tickle Me Pink, Periwinkle, Plum, Robin’s Egg Blue, Silver, Pacific Blue, Turquoise Blue, Wild Strawberry,

Olive Green, Purple Mountains’ Majesty, Raw Sienna, Salmon, Sea Green, Sepia, Spring Green, Tumbleweed,

Asparagus, Bittersweet, Brick Red, Burnt Orange, Forest Green, Gold, Magenta, Orchid,

Burnt Sienna, Cornflower, Goldenrod, Granny Smith Apple, Lavender, Macaroni & Cheese (?!), Mahogany, Mauvelous,

Cadet Blue, Chestnut, Melon, Peach, Sky Blue, Tan, Timberwolf, Wisteria,

Blue Green, Blue Violet, Carnation Pink, Red Orange, Red Violet, White, Yellow Green, Yellow Orange,

Apricot, Cerulean, Dandelion, Gray, Green Yellow, Indigo, Scarlet, Violet Red,

Blue, Green, Red, Yellow, Black, Brown, Orange, Violet (Purple).

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