Finding The Colour In The Room

Do you ever feel that you are in the process of being sketched and that all the parts haven’t quite been filled in yet?

And that because there are some parts that haven’t been filled in it can be hard to get into a rhythm?

I feel that way every January. Every January I feel parts of me have been erased and that I am waiting to be redrawn.

I often dread one side of Christmas – all the running around, the possible family fighting, staring rampant consumerism in the face; but part of me loves the other side of Christmas: the lights, the tree, the carols, the sanctity of it. I love that side and I miss it when it’s gone. I only succeeded in packing up my Christmas decorations yesterday, mostly because I cling to the magic of the season, I don’t want it to leave. I don’t want to be faced with what I see as an empty and colourless room. Waiting to be filled with another kind of magic.

And that’s the problem. Finding another source of magic to fill up the house, my heart and my head.

There is a sense of needing to regroup at the start of every year, to take stock, to plan a little. And sometimes that regrouping can bring with it a sense of anxiety as we recount in our heads what we experienced, what we went through during the previous year. It can be daunting to think we may have to go through something similar again (or maybe even something worse) and we wonder if we can cope or if this time it will all be too much.

It’s the light that changes everything. The deep shade of morning clutches like hands, easing up the walls of the empty room. It is like a skin growing over a wound, healing, sucking out the dark until the glory, the majesty, the power of the noonday light is let through. The Persian rug is suddenly ablaze with stories. The photographs on the mantel beckon with joyful memories. Flowers in pink and purple and orange beam at the window. A butterfly skims the top of the door, resting for a minute before flying off again to explore anew. He is the Marco Polo of butterflies.

Suddenly, the room doesn’t seem so empty. Suddenly, the year ahead seems less grim. Suddenly, it seems possible that the parts of me that were missing will be filled in because that is what is meant to be and endings are just beginnings, anyway.

And I realise I don’t need to find another source of magic.Β  That I don’t need to find the colour in the room. I realise it was there all along.

29 thoughts on “Finding The Colour In The Room

  1. Thank you for writing such a lovely post, Selma. It really moved me.

    January is one of my favorite months because it feels like a clean slate, a new start, a time for the dust of the “holidaze” to settle and allow me to think about what happened during that hectic time.

    But it can seem so removed from the colors of fall, and Yule that even those of us who love the starkness of the northern hemisphere’s New Year season can feel a little suspended. Then comes one of those incredible crisp, clear days with a sky so blue you can hear it sing, and bright sunlight finds every detail of forgotten color and brings it back to life.

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a bright, clear day. Thanks for reminding me they will come. Someday.


  2. I’m like you, I think the starting of a new year always signal some kind of ending and that’s why there’s that feeling of loss somehow. I’m sure it passes and something new and wonderful will appear soon


  3. Oh Selma what lovely, lovely writing. Nnnnniiiice! Do I have to get sick to write like this??

    I’m a January lover because I am a December hater. I am the Grinch. I hate society bossing me around, especially when it comes to how I should feel .


    The challenging part can be tough. I almost feel like saying:’Brace yourself, here we go again.’ It is good to be reminded of the colour hiding in the shadows.

    Hi RACHEL:
    Some Persian rugs are so vibrant that you can’t help but be swept away by the detail. I have seen some with incredible designs that include people, towers, all sorts of things. Sadly, they cost a fortune. But one day I’ll get one….

    Hi KAREN:
    Your comment is absolutely beautiful. In many ways it is harder for you to find the colour as you are in the middle of winter. Yet as you say, those bright, clear days aren’t far away!

    Hi LISSA:
    I think it is only natural to feel that way as one year ends and another begins. You’re right – something new and wonderful will appear soon.

    Hi LAURI:
    I truly love your attitude to life. In many ways you are so like me. I hate society bossing me around too. Thank you for your kind words and no, you don’t have to get sick to write well; for you, it comes naturally. πŸ˜€

    Hi STEPH:
    Awww thanks, hon. It has made my day to hear from you!


  5. Great Post Selma ! I too have a lot of photographs on the mantel above the wood burning stove. Oh, those memories. I look at them often , and the cabin as well as my mind seems to brighten up.


  6. Nice thoughts, Selma. There is a hint of Susan Sarandon about you in that image. Anyone else ever suggested this to you, I think it’s your eyes.


  7. I’m sorry that you have been ill but glad that you are feeling better now and that you have found your colour.

    I love your blogger links too at the top. I only just noticed though. It’s great that you have written a little about them. I will come back one day when I have some free time and sit with a cup of coffee and read them properly and click on a few links and hopefully find some new interesting blogs to read. I haven’t read any new blogs in ages.

    I shall try very hard over the next few days to see if I can find some colour too.


  8. I think the end of your post says it all – all the waiting to be filled it isn’t a source of dread, but a source of adventure – of excitement! I love the New Year – it’s not what was, but what will be – I think our melancholy comes from dwelling on the past too long – yes, we need to learn from life, but if we are ever going to accomplish in this life, we must keep moving forward. The good news is, you don’t have to let life fill in the gaps – you can use your own choices to create the picture you want to look at. Sure things pop up – that’s just life asking you, “Are you sure you want this?” and when the answer is consistently, “Yes, I do, and I’m not going to let you deter me…” that’s when it happens. πŸ™‚ Of course, the flip side is, be careful what you ask for… *insert spooky music here*

    Thank you for your lovely comments by the way. It’s so good to hear I’m not the only one that feels that way about writing. Sometimes I think I’m just a loony – comments like yours assures me I’m quite normal – for a writer. πŸ™‚


  9. It’s a beautiful post. I am uplifted by the uplifting end of it.

    January is complex for me too, for many the same reasons – coming down off an old year and all the hulaballoo at the end of it; the short days and lack of light and cold weather (for us). But it’s all new again, another chance to start over, re-invent and explore new plans. I try to let the hope and inspiration override the dark and depressed. Usually I manage.

    (Read RB’s comments above and noted your annotated list of blogs, and I shall enjoy searching them too! It’s lovely of you to take the time to do that.)


  10. That’s quite a surreal piece you have written and describes how I feel a lot of the time. The photos is really cool to0 – you look like a ghost which fits the story to a tee.


  11. There are time when the void in us are making its way into our consciousness. It tries to lure us to be its company. However, if we open our eyes to the beauty and mystery of everything, suddenly we will be filled with excitement and anticipation, just like how we felt when we were young as the Christmas season approaches. πŸ™‚


  12. What a beautiful uplifting post, thanks Sel. I hope you are feeling loads better too. I’ve been up and down physically in the past few weeks, but most of mine (I believe) is down to stress.

    Hugs dear and wishing you a happy week, G πŸ™‚


  13. Beautiful post. I always seem to slow down towards the end of the year and feel tired, and then I seem to find a little burst of energy with the new year. It only lasts a few days though. LOL


  14. β€œAnd I realise I don’t need to find another source of magic. That I don’t need to find the colour in the room. I realise it was there all along.”

    And your beautiful, magical post has spread the colour to this reader. Me. Thanks!

    May it also be spread to the survivors of unspeakable tragedies: earthquakes, bushfires, and floods, etc.


  15. A post filled with light and shadow, and so much potential. I too find January challenging.

    In this hemisphere it is deep winter, a time I know is meant for quiescence and renewal. But I think it is the sense of waiting that I feel most, and I’m not very good at waiting.

    Thanks for the uplifting post and the lovely writing (as always).



  16. Wow, this is gorgeous! I feel much the same way at the beginning of every year, but I’ve never thought about it in quite these terms. Like a sketch waiting to be filled in . . .


  17. I could have sworn I left a comment here but obviously it was an oversight. But now I am concerned that you haven’t been posting lately. I am hoping it’s because you are madly writing your book and have just got lost in your wonderful story.


  18. OOOOORRRRRRR perhaps you just need to get up later in the morning when the light has already done its magic-making – er – magic. πŸ™‚




  20. Hi PUNATIK:
    I love my old photos. I have friends who constantly change them around but I keep the same ones in the same frames. They often cheer me up!

    Hi MELEAH:
    January’s a bit like that, I think. It’s worse for you in the cold weather, though. The sun is shining here so I’ve got nothing to complain about.

    Hi ROWE:
    No one has ever said I look like Susan Sarandon but I will accept that compliment with pleasure because I love her. Thanks, hon!

    Hi RELUCS:
    I would recommend all the blogs I have listed. There really are some excellent writers among them. I am sure you will find a few that you like!

    Hi TEX:
    When you wrote that post I almost fell over because I related to it so much. Thank you for writing it.

    You’re right about not dwelling on the past too much. It can really eat you up inside if you let it. It is definitely best to move forward.

    That’s the key, isn’t it? Letting the hope and inspiration override anything else.

    I included my lists of bloggers because for me blogging is about the community of writers that develops around you when you start a blog. It just grows and grows. I love that!


    There is a ghostly aspect to that photo, for sure. I’d like to say it was inspired by Dickens and that it is the ghost of my expectations past but it is, in fact, all due to my iMac and the web cam. Thanks modern technology πŸ˜€

    Hi WALTER:
    You are so right. Opening our eyes to the beauty and mystery everywhere is the answer. Great point!

    Sorry you haven’t been feeling too well. Stress-induced illness is the worst. I hope things improve for you this year, I really do. You need a break. Take care.

    Hi DAOINE:
    I laughed when you said that because at the start of the new year I can be very Gung Ho!, going gangbusters and related expressions, but it is over in a few days. This year I am determined to keep that enthusiasm going all year!

    Hi DAVID:
    Awww. You always say the nicest things. And thanks for that link. It has made me feel good to see how many people have rallied to help those in need in Haiti. Great stuff!


  22. Hi KAYT:
    With your usual clarity you have hit on a crucial point and that is, the sense of waiting. We humans are not good at waiting. I know I need to learn to utilise the time I spend waiting for things more efficiently, to see it less as a negative and more as a positive. But I just hate waiting…..

    Hi MAMA ZEN:
    I am thrilled you liked this. That is really cool. Thank you!

    Hi MELEAH:
    You are just such a lovely lady. Thank you for your concern. I haven’t been feeling too good this week. I will post about it in a minute. You are a true sweetie XXX

    Hi GYPSY:
    Awww. Thanks for thinking of me, hon. I haven’t been feeling too perky but am on the mend now (I hope).

    Hi NANNA:
    You are probably right. Although with Aussie summers it tends to be bright and light right from the word go. Late afternoon has the nicest colours for me!


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