The last time I saw in technicolor was when I went to music camp. I have always perceived notes as colors, when they are sharp they vibrate, flat they dim, and just right they make a rainbow. Sadly this doesn’t translate to being able to produce beautiful music. Once I gave up my instrument the world went back to shades of grey.

Chatting with a friend whose life is music I learned that color associations with words, letter and notes have a name…and a Wikipedia page. Synesthesia fascinates me, perhaps because I have the most mild useless form of it. Whether you see the letter A as red, or the note C as brown or simply see color in the sky we all have strong associations with color.

Pinterest board covers. Yellow of the rainbowI have always loved yellow. I like it bold, yet without the tinge of orange that you find on a school bus. It wakes me up more than coffee, makes me want to walk through front doors and generally move forward. It demands my attention and I give it. Back before I learned that I could only have Pinterest Boards that promote my blog-Blech- I had a board called “yellow not so mellow” I looked at it almost every afternoon at 2. Now I use Pinterest as a tool, not a toy so you only see yellow on my board covers.

Indigo is part of the rainbow coatMy cousin is obsessed with Indigo. He likes the process by which it is made, but even more he likes the layers of depth that he sees. He wears a cape-like lab coat thing that would make me look like an oompa loopa. Each morning he arrives with the tail swinging and takes his seat to write about imaginary lands. Stuck as I am in the personal narrative I simply see it as blue. To Jasper it is a manifestation of all possibilities in a single color.

My older son like the monochrome look. He pairs blue on blue green on green, you understand. What he can’t see is shades of color so even though it is impossible he has actually made blue clash. One day he hurried into the room holding my laptop, his face as red as his T shirt and short. “My mind is BLOWN.” He tells me. Or screams at me. When he turned the screen to me to reveal youtube I expected to be lulled to sleep by a video of a pre-teen opening a pack of Pokemon cards. Instead he showed me this. He watched it again and looked up at me. Did you have ANY idea that we respond to color that way? Why yes. Yes I did. But it was thrilling to watch him learn. Sitting on my blue comforter looking at his red outfit I felt an excited contentment the red and blue of those emotions swirling together into a sort of purple. The colors are still in there. Instead of music I see them in the moods of my boys. Whether sharp or flat they light up my life.

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Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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