Growing up, art was something I was clearly bad at.  It wasn’t just the way that the art teachers pointedly ignored my work, or my close to failing grades.  It was the lost feeling I experienced in art class.  In writing, English, algebra or even public speaking classes, I knew what was required and it came naturally to me.  With art, I didn’t understand what I was supposed to be doing, never mind how to do it.  I was so afraid to fail, and reveal my unworthiness, that I just accepted that I was bad at art and avoided it.

 

When I was 29, I was critically injured in a car accident.  The doctors didn’t expect me to live and lost me twice during the first operation.  Whether it was coming so close to death or just re-examining life, something in the experience caused me to take chances, to risk life, to refuse to play it safe.  As I like to think of it, I decided to live life out loud.  So I took a painting class.

 

In a sense, my worst fears were realized – the teacher thought I was terrible.  She spent most of each class period shaking her head and sighing over my incompetence.  But I found that I loved it.  Especially color.  Color began to speak to me in a whole new way.

 

I started to crave yellow.  I tried to buy all yellow clothes.  I wanted to eat yellow foods.  I bought yellow curtains and a yellow bedspread.  One day while having acupuncture, the practitioner shone yellow light on the needles in my ears.  He explained that certain colors are thought to heal certain areas of the body and that most of my injuries were concentrated around the chakra that yellow light worked on.  I only knew that yellow felt very healing to me.

 

I found that while sitting in Meeting for Worship I would see color.  I loved to read Hildegard of Bingen’s writings about the greening of God.  I felt that I was experiencing the Light through color.  It was comforting for me to know that color was light.  I thought of color as God and  wrote this poem, exploring the relationship of God and color.

 

The Color of God

 

     God is yellow

when he’s brilliant,

but when he’s resting,

is he coral,

when meditating,

does he become

a dusky rose?

When God’s working,

is she shining

 with emerald coolness,

and God pausing,

does she become

a peaceful blue?

    God, when blessing,

is lavender violet,

but when teaching,

does he move in

an earthtone aura,

does he grieve in

jade green hues?

    When God is creating,

she glimmers in turquoise,

when she’s loving,

is she bathed in

a fine golden glow?

    God speaks to me

in colors so brilliant.

    He heals me

with colors so glowing.

    Blesses me

with colors so gentle.

    God’s energy shines

through the prism of my soul,

offering numerous colors

with which she sustains me

and I am made whole.    
--- Mica Coffin