What are the colours of December?
How does the spectrum move through your month?
When I wrote this prompt last year, I was thinking of colours, I was thinking of the visual spectrum. But I find that today I’m considering different spectra – spectra of emotions, of lifespans. I don’t know if it’s all Decembers or just this one, but it seems to be bursting at the seams with the spectrum of experience. On the one hand, a friend’s mother has passed away. On the other, a new baby is born. Perhaps when we reach December and look back at the year in awe, we do collect a spectrum of the events that shaped this particular year. It could be argued that a calendar is artificial, and marking the end or beginning of a year is like finding the termina of a circle. Maybe. But choosing a point to say this is where we mark an end, a full stop, before we start it all again, gives us a vantage point for looking back, for observing the spectrum. The colours of December are made up of a spectrum of the year, laid out in events and happenings that make up 2014.
I worked with a man who had been a lieutenant colonel in the army, don’t ya know. (He later became a Deputy Lieutenant of his County). He regularly described the deputy chairman of the organisation we worked for as being ‘very intelligent’. It took me some time to realise that this was shorthand, in the circles he moved in, for someone whose social skills weren’t up to scratch. That was twenty years ago. Nowadays the man he was talking about, who sat at the head of the table at meetings with his eyes shut, would be described as being ‘on the spectrum’. It’s a prevalent condition here in Cambridge, so I couldn’t help but find my attention drawn to the ‘spectrum’ word rather than ‘colour’.
However, since the set subject this time is ‘colour’, I shall be specific about that. I shall avoid British euphemisms. I can let you know that, for me, December is a warm dark grey. And, obviously really, I’d have thought, it feels like a rough wool blanket and smells of freshly turned soil. Although cosy, it has sprinkles, maybe of light, maybe of frost.
Thoughts about autism can wait until another day.
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