I was a woman of colour once.
There was a time in my life, not that many years ago, when for a period of time I lived life in full colour. I wore colour. I felt colour. I lived colour. My senses felt heightened, and I could almost feel the earth turning under my feet as I attempted to keep them planted. Life was a ride, and I felt energized. Alive. Sexy. Mostly I just felt.
I liked that me. I liked the woman of colour I was. I liked that that woman spoke with passion, argued with passion, thought with passion, loved with passion. That woman didn't give a rat's ass about the expectations that others had of her. I felt like the child of nature rather than one of nurture. I liked that that woman understood her own power, her own worth. I learned during that time that I was on the outside what I projected from the inside. I don't know if that Ruth-of-colour was any more my real self than the Ruth of today, but I liked her.
These days, I'm still projecting what I am on the inside. Only I feel a little like a woman living in neutral tones. I live a normal life, live by the rules, have a normal husband, parent three often-normal children, am a fairly normal by-the-books stay-at-home mother. In most ways, my life of normalcy ought to be a good one, right? I've waited a long time for this precise normalcy.
But the problem is that I miss the colour. I miss feeling vibrant. I'm projecting beige now - a colour at the top of my hate list. I'm more than a little colourless. I live in an empty brown inner room with only a smattering of green hovering around the edges to remind me of what has been, what maybe still could be.
Can you tell that I've just been on my second, silent retreat this weekend? Nothing like twenty-four hours in silent aloneness to make one wonder where one has been all these years.