When I first glanced at this photo, I was struck by its symbolism of my generation. It immediately flooded the theatre of my mind with hippie memories. However, what branded my attraction most deeply to this image is the color.
The statement of Blue.
And that reminds me of how predominant blue was in the late sixties/early seventies. Despite the beads and embellishments and embroidery of lavish colors, the culture’s canvas was . . . every hue of indigo.
Which makes me curious: why select indigo-dyed cotton – the classic uniform of Americana – as a statement of rebellion and revolution? Funny. I’ve never noted this contradiction during the decades since my youth. But, it just took one simple photograph to cast me back into reflection and question: Why blue?
It’s a deep, calming blue. It’s introspective with a hint of melancholy. Immediately I’m propelled to Joni Mitchell’s archetypal album, Blue.
With personal and poetic crafting, she chronicled the color of a generation. She voiced the concerns and dreams through words and paint.
But still, why blue? What did it say of the times. To this day, I outfit myself primarily in black, white and indigo with splashes of color as accents. And for anyone who has so much as peeked at my blog.site, it’s obvious that I’m color-zealous.
I’m high-voltage Crayola happy, yet, when it comes to real life, I’m serious, almost solemn, about blue.
What is its power? And why have I been rather blind to it until a random photo slid through my inbox like an apparition?
Now I live in the West, in the heart of ranching country where cowboys, cowgirls and cattlemen dress almost exclusively in blue denim. These are rock-solid people who never sought to upheave the earth of America. While my tribe from the East Coast was restless and angry; impatient and self-righteous. We wanted to till the morals of our parents and plant new ideals in fertile furrows.
How ironic that so many of us moved westward in our faded jeans and linked arms with the un-restless folk in their darker, deeper tones of denim. We found stillness when we thought we wanted revolution. We found big sky after we left big sea.
Two interesting facts crept right in through the back door after I wrote this piece: “Blue is a creativity-enhancing color.” And: “Blue is considered to be the most appealing color for websites, according to designers.”
Hmmmmm . . . it does seem to be a color with a complex bouquet for contemplation.