A Particular Shade of Blue

One thing you didn’t know about me: blue is my favorite color. While I’m most often drawn to the endless, sibylline array of turquoise shades that are only to be found in tropical waters, pretty much any blue will do. M has amazing blue eyes that are often the color of stormy seas, with a tinge of fall-painted aspen leaves in the center. My bed is covered with a piece of fleece my mother bought for me the year before she died; it looks just like the swirls and shallows of the ocean, seen as we fly into the Bahamas. It also is covered with Mr. Man’s fur – he loves it too.

As photographers know, there is a time around sunrise and around sunset, called the “golden hour” where the light has a luminous that is unique to that time. Light is a curious and playful thing. In Santa Fe, the light always has a certain quality I’ve never seen anywhere else. In times of great change in my life — the birth of K, the death of my mother — I watched the light evolve through the windows of the day, and it was strangely memorable as I tracked those passages.

But I digress, which I have a tendency to do.

One day, a long time ago, I was sitting in my truck talking to my best friend, watching the sunset. After the sun had stolen behind the mountains, it left behind a shade of blue I’d never seen before. Not while sailing in the Caribbean, not while looking into a lover’s eyes, not in empty robin’s eggshells in spring, not even in forget-me-nots. I have never forgotten the color, and look for it in each sunset. I caught a tiny glimpse of it today, in the unpoetic venue of a WalMart parking lot, but somehow, I can never see it in my photos.

My best friend is gone now, a victim of leukemia he didn’t even know he had while we spoke that day. That blue, on those rare occasions when it chooses to show itself in the sky, makes me smile, knowing that the angels are looking after me, come what may.