i read writing down the bones this week. for every spare second i had i was either devouring the book, or doing writing exercises. i'm already thinking about reading it again, because so much of it resonated with me.
i do a lot of free writing exercises. i just start someplace, with some kind of prompt, and write until i end up somewhere. i need to do more of that. i do a lot of meta writing. i write about writing. i often think about things, and write about things that are big, abstract ideas. it's not that it's bad all the time, but it's not the best place to write from either. at least not all the time.
it needs detail. it needs to be grounded, and real, or it doesn't fully resonate.
so, i decided to sit down, and just write today. on here. to not really edit, but just give you a free flow of thoughts. i recognize that i am publishing this in a way, but it's not really here for the purpose of publication. it's here because i have a need to write. the words pour out of me, through the keys and onto the page before i know what i'm thinking.
you may or may not want to read this. and that's okay.
the color red.
red reminds me of our wedding. the bridesmaids wore red. long red satiny gowns, and i carried red roses. red roses that were given to me for my bouquet by people who had strongly influenced my life. those people picked up a rose at the entrance to the sanctuary, walked down the long aisle, and placed the individual roses in a vase at the front of the church. my dad then brought those roses to me before we walked down the aisle so he could give me away.
on valentine's day last year peter stopped by home in the middle of his work day. he carried a dozen red roses for me. those roses were in honor of the two pink lines i had seen that morning. i met him as he walked up the stairs on the porch. i set the flowers down immediately and hugged him close for a long time. tears flowed. i showed him those two pink lines.
i wore red jeans to the doctor's office. red jeans with enough stretch that they could still fit at 20 weeks. and i held peter's hand as the tech let us listen to the heartbeat, and measured the heart, and the head, and the kidneys. as she showed us the arms, and legs, and face, and hands. she showed us the feet, crossed at the ankles. and after everything else, she showed us that we were having a boy.
red. the color of the sweater i wore on our first date. a hooded cable-knit sweater that zipped. we walked to the movie theater on broad street. it was november, and already cold in grove city, so peter gave me his jacket on the way back. many months later he told me that he purposefully wore long-sleeves so it wouldn't be a big deal for him to lend me his jacket if i needed it.
red takes me back to the year grammy bought danielle and i matching red fair isle sweaters for christmas. that was the first piece of clothing i ever owned from j.crew. i still have it. i wear it at christmastime to remind me of that christmas. to remind me of grammy.
red takes me to france. to the red, orange, and pink striped scarf i bought off the street in paris. to the time i spent shopping, and the burgundy dress with the swirl of colors, the red gloves with the long burgundy arm warmers, and dark red coat with the high neck, the belt, and the big buttons that peter bought me since i managed to fit everything for a 10 day trip to france into a carry-on sized bag.
it reminds me of the maroon uniform that i wore in college. the black sweatshirt with the red letters that i wore time and again to morning workouts, slipping up the ice-covered sidewalks in the darkness of 6 a.m. winters, shoving a protein bar down my throat and trying to add some water to the mix before doing our sprints with the bands across the fluorescent-lit gym floor.
it reminds me of fruit punch gatorade. my first and longtime favorite flavor. the tournaments in the blazing sun of summer, wrapping ice-cold towels around our necks, and sitting under umbrellas at half-time, as the sweat poured out of us, and left a salty film behind.
marathon training, when i would start with gatorade prime, drink gatorade in the middle, and drink the dark red berry flavored recovery drink at the end. of the shoes that carried me for miles. the ones with the red and the turquoise around the swoosh.
red reminds me of the pillows i bought for our couch when we moved out of our apartment, and into a townhouse. it sparked a big discussion about decor and what was necessary for our home. a few months later we got bexley, and he proceeded to favor the red pillows i bought. they were his favorites to chew on, and generally put holes in. so, the red pillows were soon covered over with other fabric to hide the marks of mastication.
red is the color of the only dress i wore while i was pregnant that still made me feel beautiful. most of the time i looked in the mirror, ecstatic about the baby growing inside of me, and yet very unsure of the body changes that came with it. i slipped on that red dress, the one with the collar, and the perfect cut, and it didn't matter that i was more than halfway through the pregnancy journey. i didn't feel chunky or huge. i just felt good.
i bought that dress from urban outfitters. it was the same day i bought my mint green skirt with the pockets. peter's mom and sister were with me, and let's just say they didn't give that skirt a wholehearted thumbs up, but i loved it. so i bought it anyway. and i've gotten many compliments on it over the years.
red is the color of my favorite lipstick. bright red, and matte, so i don't have to wear any other makeup with it.
it is the vibrancy of fall. the deep red suede of my favorite pair of wedges.
it is the blood in my veins, the color of anger, and passion, and love.
the color of ripe tomatoes and sweet bell peppers. it's the color of apples and watermelon, and my favorite grapes. the color of the balloon in keane's favorite nighttime book. the color of brakes and alarms and fire engines.
it is the prominent color in both of the stores i shop at weekly, and the color of my favorite formal dress that was never actually mine.