Rambles in the Rainbow Garden (Part 1: Indigo)


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.)




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.

About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
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5 Responses to Rambles in the Rainbow Garden (Part 1: Indigo)

  1. Well the night sky is indigo blue as far as I’m concerned…and so is the ink I used to fill my fountain pen with..and so is the deep ocean just as the lingering light is dissolved into the salty waves 🙂

  2. Indeed.
    And I love your photos.

  3. scillagrace says:

    The wild indigo plant grows on the prairies of the Midwest, as well as baptisia alba (the white indigo), and I suppose pioneers used them to make dyes.

  4. Imelda says:

    Indigo – I always thought it’s just a shade of blue but cannot really tell which it will be if it is in a group of blues.

  5. ann martin says:

    Love this blog and the photos — total delight and we love this clan — they enjoy the whole world and each other — and three dogs. AM

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