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  • Jamie Bass

An Ode to the Color Blue



What a popular color you are, Blue! You dominate our natural world, filling our sky and water. You are so multi-faceted, conjuring mystery and adventure but also inviting us to go inward through concentration and contemplation. You denote eternity or a heavenly, ethereal feeling as well as a sense of high quality. You project seriousness of purpose and a feeling of importance but are also great at creating privacy. You scream isolation and introspection and are not a friend to those who need to focus their attention on the external environment or others. But you’re greatest strength may be that you are incredibly calming, proven to slow down heart and breathing rates, lower blood pressures, and actually increase a physical feeling of coolness.


You are best used to enhance a small space, like an elevator; to facilitate the concentration needed in offices and workrooms; in the interiors of planes, trains, and buses in order to calm passengers; or along a pathway or in a maze to create a sense of mystery. But in your pure form, you are not a good choice when a space needs to be cheerful, when people need stimulation, in an already cold space, or in busy and public areas where people need to move quickly. You are no friend to those with digestion problems, as you slow metabolism, and you are not the best choice for intimate meeting rooms because you can isolate people from each other and turn a friendly chat into a formal meeting.


You have been associated with violence (black and blue marks), profanity and indecent behavior (blue jokes and movies), extreme frustration and exasperation (blue in the face), and depression (feeling blue). And although you can certainly advance a feeling of negativity, we could not imagine this world without your primary color.


Blue, you are such a complicated companion. Calming, mysterious, indecent, depressing, self-centered. What is your true nature? I guess we could debate that until we’re blue (you?) in the face.


Curious about other colors? Check out our Odes to Yellow, Red, Orange, Green, White, Black, and Bubble Gum Pink & Purple.

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