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  • Writer's pictureJamie Bass

An Ode to the Color Yellow

Yellow! Oh, how we all revere you. You are cheerful and filled with hope. You lighten a heavy mood and elevate mental activity. You bring clarity and acuity, helping one to see the whole form and making sense of that which is confusing. You are the color of the sun and create a feeling of warmth. At your purest and brightest, you are all about supporting life and nourishing us both physically and emotionally. You are often associated with mystical powers and, like yellow wildflowers along the side of the road, promote exploration. But you are also immensely practical: cautioning us through warning signs and lane markers and screaming out for attention, beckoning to us like the golden arches off a highway in the middle of the night.

Alas, you do have a dark side. At the other end of the color spectrum, you represent the decay of life. You have been associated with scandal and sensationalism (yellow journalism), meanness and contemptibleness (yellow dog), cowardice (yellow-bellied), and deterioration (yellowed papers).

You never do well inside cupboards or drawers as you give things an unattractive tinge, and you’re most hated when you reflect on a person’s skin, drowning out your friend the color red and making them appear sickly and old. Although you should be avoided in bathrooms, you do well in entryways, as a secondary color in a doctor’s waiting room, or as an accent in the kitchen.

Oh, yellow, are you friend or foe? Maybe we’ll find our answer at the end of that brick road over there.

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


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