The Color Purple

This is not about the movie – that was a long time ago and I don’t even remember if I watched the whole thing, but I do remember Oprah Winfrey was in it.

This is about a writing prompt I received via email and it said just simply: “The color purple – write about it.”

It stuck with me through the day and I wondered on its meaning to me – not that I sat there thinking “hmmmm, what does the color purple mean to me and what should I write about?” What I mean is, I couldn’t let it go and decided I just had to write something on this prompt. Call it a mid-week writing prompt, if you will, but any prompt that probes the creativity and challenges your writing process is as good as any other that might be presented at a more opportune time.

Purple. Usually associated with royalty although “royal blue” has the name. The word I would use to describe purple with is regal. It is rich and full and pleasing – IF – and that’s a big if – it doesn’t have too much red in it or venture too close to magenta or mauve. Those variations of light purple just don’t do it for me. Turn me off just about as much as periwinkle does…

With purple, I can imagine cascading vines, rich and lush against a white trellis.

I imagine misty mountains in the early morning just before the sun breaks through the peaks, their base still mired in the depths of night, when color starts to creep in with the dawn.

I imagine the far side of the rainbow where the color spectrum takes a dramatic turn in dark contrast to its counterparts. When it takes on too much black I imagine eggplant but not black cherry because that has too much red and not enough blue.

It is funny the direction that writing might take depending upon your mood and your thought patterns at the time. It could have very well went the way of emotions prompting you to write how you feel about the color not about what you see. Personally, I like deep, rich purple but not for anything specific other than perhaps in a painting. It is not my favorite color and I probably wouldn’t wear too much of it – however, I recently bought a striped shirt with deep purple, black and white – it has sparkles of silver throughout as well – so I wore it to the dinner theatre.

The funniest story I have of purple is when I bought my car. When I returned from Toronto in 2005 after a brief writing sabbatical there, I was without wheels until I got back to work here and found an apartment. I applied on-line for my car – purchase and credit – and it was approved without me ever having to go into the dealership. It’s nice when you have specifics and are not picky about things like that – this worked great! Talking to the salesman on the phone after the deal was approved, he said he would pick me up and I could get my car. We talked and in passing the color of the vehicle came up. I said it didn’t matter as long as it wasn’t purple! There was silence on the other end…

Needless to say, any of you who have seen my car knows it is NOT purple, but recorded on my registration as “maroon.” Acceptable.

So much for me and purple – for tonight anyway. Remember when the notion hits you to write about something, anything, just do it because that’s what writers do!

Keep on writing… purple, green, blue….


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