Monday, October 15, 2012

Shades of gray

Given the title, I suppose this post could be another rant about aging and the transformation of my once brown locks to timber wolf gray. Or if I had tacked on "50" to the title I could have got all the traffic for the soft-core porn novel that women are swooping off the shelves. Or it could be about the weather shift here in Seattle back from the unaccustomed record days of sunshine back to the misty grays.

Maybe it is about all of those things (except for the stupid porn novel...I just threw that in to get more hits).

I grew up in an era of grays. Our televisions gave us a gray view of the world before flat screen, HD with 3D became the norm. I didn't know that Dorothy's world went from the stark gray of Kansas to the livid colors of Oz until I was in my teens. I had always watched the Wizard of Oz on a black and white television until color televisions finally came down in price enough that even lower middle class families like ours could own them.

My children look at black and white photos and ask me why the color has drained out of them. I just tell them that there was a time without color. Most of the photographs from my childhood were black and white. So many of my memories are forever gray (and often blurry) images pasted in worn photo albums.

What is color anyway, but a trick of reflected light. Perhaps the real world is only various shades of gray.

I look in a mirror and see gray everywhere. It's like a mask of age donned by my much younger mind. I remember having an old man rubber mask when I was in my late teens. I put it on once along with old man clothes and shuffled up to my mom's front door and rang the bell (I was still living at home in the basement with a door that opened up to the outside).  She came to the door looking vaguely frightened and asked, "Could I help you?" I laughed and spoke with my young man's voice, "Mom, it's me." It took her a few moments but she finally recognized that it was her youngest son. I took off the mask and we all had a good laugh.

The mask doesn't come off anymore.

1 comment:

Helen Baggott said...

Had my eyes tested today by a kid who looked no more than 12.

Don't need new glasses - grey in soft focus is fine with me.