The Color of Forgotten Dreams
There are two kinds of people: those whose favorite color is blue and those whose favorite color is something else. Blue or not blue. Colors say a lot more about a person than you think. The colors we choose to fill our lives with express our emotions, our affections, our values. Small children know this truth, and ever since I was one, I knew it too.
Some things that are blue:
But the sky could also be grey, and so can oceans and many other things besides. Yet when people think of the sky and oceans, they think blue. What is it about blue that gathers such a following? Maybe its grand presence in nature is what makes us attempt to bring it into our personal lives with objects around us in many different shades. But what about the sad shades? The darker shades, like the blue of the night sky on the eve of 9/11, or the blue of your grandmother’s eyes in her final moments as you watched the light slowly leave them forever? Blue isn’t always calm, and we have brought the harshness of it into our lives too. Blue can be pummeled across our skin, all different shades of hurt. We have crashed cars of blue, colored police and hospital uniforms that get stained with blood.
What is the perfect shade of blue? The shade that makes it worth all other shades? I have spent my life trying to discover the answer, searching for a blue that is both in nature and out of it, not too serious but not silly either. A shade that holds dark and light and sadness and hope in it all at once. I have looked for it in the eyes of every lover, in the taste of every berry, in the depths of ever body of water I’ve let touch my skin. I have tried on countless dresses, every dye that man can make. I have gone to art supply shops and bought all the shades of blue paint, just so I could squeeze them out and see what color cobalt really is. I eat off plates of azure blue and wipe my mouth on matching napkins. I cover my wet body in cornflower blue towels as I step out of a pale blue bathtub.
I have spent my life searching for blue.
Even my cat has blue eyes. He wears a bright blue tag on his collar in the shape of a heart with his name, “Cadmium,” engraved upon it, and although his fur is grey, his breed is called Russian Blue.
When I was younger my family would spend summers in Paris, and I remember our apartment with its walls painted the palest blue to match the color of the morning sky, nearly grey in its powdery softness. I remember staring outside the window and squinting, blurring where the wall ended and the French sky began. That open window held the most beautiful skies. Perhaps it was then that my fascination began. The sun wouldn’t set until half past nine at night, a slow process that changed hesitantly into all different forms of blue before finally settling into the color that I found solace in, as well as excitement, lust, reverence, peace, elegance, hope, joy, seriousness, serenity, and even solemnity. I didn’t know it at the time, but my favorite shade of blue is that summer night sky. I would never discover another blue so melodic in its darkness, singing me stories of my unknown future, its endless array of stars shimmering all above Paris like a million whispering sapphires.
Christine Vartoughian is an award-winning Armenian-American writer and film director. Her debut feature film about love and suicide, Living with the Dead: A Love Story, received the Audience Choice Award at Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, Best Feature Film at Aberdeen Festival in the U.K., and is available on iTunes and Amazon in the United States and internationally. She is the founder of (Screen)Play Press, a publishing company for unproduced film scripts. Her feature script, Young Monsters, was published in 2022.