Bottoming Out in Indigo (c) July 2014
On Sunday morning it was hot and very humid (though not, I concede, nearly as much so as in Bangladesh, where someone I love is now doing cholera research).
As usual, I was armed with a camera.
“This one’s for my rainbow gallery. I’m short on orange,” I announced, bringing the breakfast-seeking process to a screeching halt so I could squint in the sun and click away at day lilies. “I have everything else.”
“You know there’s not really an indigo.”
I looked disbelievingly at the source of this comment, one of the young breakfast-seekers with me. He continued, “It was added to the rainbow just to make the ROYGBIV thing work. It should be ROYGBP, but no one can say that.”
He proceeded to fill me in on an elaborate color study that concluded the color indigo doesn’t exist . . . and (far less of a surprise) that just about no one can spell “fuchsia.”
“Not true. I don’t believe it. I’ve seen indigo. I can show you indigo. . . . Besides, Bill Nye had indigo.” Bill Nye is the authoritative God of kid science.
As it turned out, however, when I mined my recent photographs for indigo, it was a surprisingly elusive hue.
(Indeed, indigo buntings themselves are not indigo. Nor have I ever seen the indigo designated for police officers killed in the line of duty rendered in a shade other than true violet.)
Blue on Blue
Tangled up in Indigo
But even if you haven’t seen it, I suspect you’ve felt it.
I feel indigo as the deep plum-kissed black-blue of the blood that flows through veins which lurk beneath my skin’s surface. I feel it in bruising, and in an empty interior metaphorical room’s walls of the deepest blue.
I’ve heard the down-to-the bone blue in The Indigo Girls’ “Closer to Fine”: “Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable/And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear.“
So . . . Yes, Virginia, there is an indigo.