Blue is my hue.
Sapphire, cobalt, cerulean, slate, cornflower, robin’s egg, navy, the near-black blue of midnight. . . .I gravitate to all of them.
I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I wear a sapphire ring people likely assume is my wedding or engagement ring. It’s not: it’s one of three very special pieces of jewelry–two of them starring the color blue–Jim gave me during our many married years.
One crystalline blue oval gemstone, the color of our son-to-be Noah’s eyes, is set into a silver bracelet I’ve had since that first Mother’s Day when we had a child of our own to hold. A dark sapphire is set into a three-stone tenth anniversary ring that marked the arrival of three children in the preceding four years. (The third is a necklace that sparkles ethereally in every color, and that Jim gave me for the “birthday of significance” he knew he would not live to celebrate.)
Why make so much of fragmentary blue
In here and there a bird, or butterfly,
Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye,
When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue?
Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven (as yet)–
Though some savants make earth include the sky;
And blue so far above us comes so high,
It only gives our wish for blue a whet.
Every day I seek out some hope of a heaven in blue, in skies and oceans full of life. I watch birds cross and re-cross that chasm between the earth and sky. From my backyard I’ve seen blue angels wing their way on the same seamless cyclical journeys.
And nearly every day I also feel the universal wash of grief’s figurative blues, shards from the abyss; sometimes I am hopelessly tangled in these blues, and on some days I can look up and away from midnight.
The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue.