Monday, October 25, 2010

The Tyranny of Grey

Now that the dark months are upon us, it's time to reveal the un-secret - I like somewhat dark books. I like the epic wrestling of good and evil on the printed page. 1984, The Brothers Karamazov and Blindness are all in my top 10. Orwell is so brilliant, and despite his more hilarious books, he has this beautiful sense of apocalypse and soul stealing evil, as do my beloved Russians.

I listened to Anthem on my walk this weekend - I read that in college but not since - and found one of my favorite themes.

I call it the tyranny of grey.

Pick any apocalyptic story - The Road, The Stand - whatever - and each of them builds a prison out of greyness. Color is forbidden in some - 1984 and Anthem - primarily because it represents freedom and self expression - defiance of sameness, rebellion.

We are all artists, so we live and breathe (and if you're like me, wear on your hands and your clothes accidentally) color all day every day. We love it, but because we use so much of it, we take it for granted.

It would be inconceivably inhumane to steal color from a people. And when it's stolen in these stories, what color ends up symbolizing is hope.

Hope for salvation and freedom. Hope for that sacred individuality.

I knew just what stamp I wanted to color when my book ended.

And so I did. :)

Stamps: Rejoicing in Christmas Paper: Basic Grey (SU) and Basic Grey whites collection Ink: India Ink
: Radiant Rain, paintbrush, Copics, Summer Sun Reinker

Hope you had a colorful Monday. :)


  1. oh my. this is PERFECT! i think you should craft some text reflecting how Christ brought HOPE to the grey, colorless lives we were living and use it as the interior message of this Christmas card. i know i'd find it meaningful. so, you could just send it to me! great card!

  2. OK, not only did you outdo yourself on the card, but the message pretty much rocks as well. Completely beautiful on both counts!

  3. A perfect in every way Christmas card! Thank you so much for sharing the card and the story!

  4. Lydia, such amarvelous post, and the image you picked to illustrate your words is SO are talented in many ways. TFS

  5. Beautiful, Lydia... very thought provoking. Love the design.

  6. Very nice. There were two books that actually struck something with me in high school English - Watership Down and Anthem. :-) Haven't read either since, though - perhaps I should.

  7. Love the shot of color in the grey card...but I'm really posting because I read Blindness years ago and it STILL haunts me. Great choice :)

  8. Lydia, thank you for reminding me (us) of how marvelous color truly is, both symbolically and literally. I read your blog faithfully, but don't comment often, even though I enjoy your wit, quirky humor, and unique way of expressing yourself. The text of this post and the beautiful card was "right on the money" in many ways. It is grey outside today, but you have made my heart sing. Thank you!!

  9. Quite possibly your Best post ever! You made grey burst with color. rly

  10. Awesome work with this beautiful nativity! What a wonderful design, Lydia!

  11. Lydia,

    This card is stunning, absolutely gorgeous!

    Hugs, Lisa

  12. Beautiful card...enjoyable post...
    I'm a sci-fi fan for the same the good vs evil struggles....presently reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. She's taken this theme and presented an interesting twist in the protagonist...and the definitions of good and evil...
    Enjoy your day!

  13. Oh MY what a wonderful card, love love love it. Rose


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