# 112B –A World of Colour

Let me say at the outset that I’m impressed with women who can make a pleasing outfit with subtle shades of grey.

For good or ill, that’s not me. The other week I got a sudden notion to clean out my clothes closet, and take some unwanted items to the thrift shop. Here’s what my closet looked like when I finished.

Sues-ClosetThe first thing to strike me were the swatches of strong colour – orange, red and purple mainly. I’ve loved the colour orange for a long time.  A few friends have hinted that they’re getting tired of it. Purple also has a history. Red with black is a newer addition. But I started out with subdued colours.

When I was a beginning pastor, a young adult asked me, “Sue, why do you always wear such dull clothes?  Brighten up!”  So I did. (I wore “dull colours” in those early days because I didn’t want to “stand out” as a young female pastor.)

When I was a younger pastor, I had a purple dress and purple shoes.  I liked them enough that I wore them to church from time to time – until another young  woman started calling me “her purple highness.”

Actually, I secretly wished I could wear robes in liturgical colours.

Sue-and-Martha
Sue and her mother in Sue’s St. Jacobs office; the quilted wallhanging is from Charm, Ohio

Other evidences of colour in my world have included: quilts and quilted wall hangings, spring and summer flowers,  the spring green of the golf course and its trees across the way, maple trees in fall.

I have also reveled in patterns, such as fields in summer.

Recently I found a spiritual exercise in an old journal which I wrote on a retreat a few years ago.  Taking off from the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus in John 3,  it reads in part like this:

How can a woman who is old be born?

  •  in simplicity; in simple pleasures; in focus;
  •  in NOT needing to have anything to prove;
  •  in carrying the past, not as burden or baggage, but as gift;
  • in strong earth colours (brown, orange, green, yellow, deep red);
  • in vulnerability 
  • in hope
  • in protest!
  • with the Spirit as a gentle loving current within. 

I was pleased to find this journal entry; it still speaks wisdom to me. And I’m glad it includes colour!

Questions for Reflection:

  1. What is your reaction to wearing strong colours?
  2. What would you add to or subtract from my list of “how a woman who is old can be born”?

 

15 thoughts on “# 112B –A World of Colour

  1. Strong colours can be attractive. I used to wear a lot of white and black in combinations, such a black shirt and a white blouse, but over time my selection of colours has changed. I looked in my closet this morning and saw my the largest number of dresses is green, followed by blue and lilac in that order. I love the colours of mother nature best. I agree that simplicity of the greatest importance when dressing. Of course, e don’t just wear a sheet of material around ourselves, we wear our material shaped and draped about ourselves and simplicity in clothing pattern must be harmonious with the cloth itself. And the simplest, commonest pattern I see others wearing and which is wear is a cape dress, which also emphasizes modesty, another quality I admire in dress. Such a wardrobe emphasises my sense of femininity, my love of God as revealed in natural colours; modesty and simplicity and vulnerability and trust. Heather W.

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  2. Hi Sue. I could certainly resonate with your comments about what to wear as a young female pastor. In my first congregation it was a strong concern of mine. Needing some wise counsel, I went to the oldest women’s Sunday school group and asked them. They were a wise group who had lived many years and had solid convictions. To my surprise they said, “Wear whatever you are comfortable with. We like the change of more colour in the pulpit area.” I never forgot those words!

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  3. Way to go, Sue!Why wear grey and black when so many bright colours are available.God obviously loves colour evident in the myriad brilliant shades in birds, flowers , sunrises and sunsets.Arlene

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  4. Here’s my addition to “how a woman who is old can be born”:

    -by continuing to find and speak her unique voice–firmly, clearly, and most often kindly (unless circumstances reveal that approach is contraindicated!).

    With this, you, dear Sue, are blazing the trail for us all. . .

    Carol

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  5. Sue,

    Thank you for this timely reminder to those of us who insist that we grow “better,” not “old “! The one thing I would add to your list is:

    When our main criterion for buying shoes is comfort, not style!

    Ellen

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  6. Hi Sue,

    I tend to be a grey person, myself. But I enjoy colour — it’s partly what drew me into chemistry, with all its colours! For the record, God created the electromagnetic spectrum, including the visible region — ROYGBIV: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, and all the mixtures thereof.

    Lewis

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  7. Sue, I love today’s blog! I applaud the cleaning out a closet idea & don’t do it enough, especially drawers. I am reminded of seeing my Mom, your Aunt Mildred, cleaning out drawers when I was little. And your thoughts on taking note of what colors in your closet & why, is interesting too. I love that photo of you and sweet Aunt Martha. Your rediscovered former journal entry is meaningful!
    Sending My Love –

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  8. I love the humur, lightness, and insight of this blog, Sue….I like bright colours too…orange, green, red, and purple… Glad you were able to embrace your colourful side… …Gord…

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  9. Thanks for the reflections on colour, Sue. When I began pastoring in my church four and a half years ago, I wondered if I should have “suit jacket” in my repertoire. I went shopping, tried one on, and hated it. So I’ve opted for softer more flowing options, and when possible with my limited wardrobe, I love to wear the colours of the liturgical season behind the pulpit.

    Thanks also for your reflections on being born again as an older woman — it illuminates so well the aging process as “sage-ing.”

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