Why is it they call it the blues?

It should really be the greys. Blue is a pretty colour. Grey is, well, grey. Like black, but without the enthusiasm.  Or white, but in a slovenly way.

Although, truth be told, both colours get  a unfairly rough go.  Today, for example, outside my window, fog is rolling by.  It’s grey. Again. Day 15 or more. Minute by minute, the colour changes as the fog swirls, lifts, re-descends. Normally, it would be beautiful. Today, it is merely tedious. But still charming in its own right. I feel enclosed in wool swaddling today – my visual field outside the window is only a few feet at times, and it makes me feel cozy. If a bit damp around the edges. Watching it lighten bit by bit as the day burns off the fog is exciting, like unwrapping a present.  Will we see blue sky today?

But grey is never invigorating.  Not like blue – sky blue or royal blue or even navy blue, teal or indigo or baby blue. Van Gogh’s blues shout from his paintings, Monet’s whisper seductively, Maude Lewis’ sing happily. It seems too varied a colour to be associated with depression. Yet it is.

And blues music is just too much fun to be depressing – the beat throbbing onwards, the growly sax, the gravelly voices and hearty tones. It’s hard to listen to it and be depressed.

People with depression often speak of how the world bleaches out. Colours become muted, like my view through the fog. A friend of mine who suffered for years with intractable depression finally received a novel treatment, involving direct brain stimulation.  She was finally able to surface, and her comment was that suddenly, the greys had receded and, as in the Wizard of Oz, she had stepped into a Technicolor world again.

So, as we here in the Maritimes look forward to another  weekend of greys, perhaps it’s time to get on with some blues – groove with sunshiny and bluesy music, paint with colours and  play. And tap our heels together and wish for the sun.

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