Friday, November 23, 2012

Colors of Promise and Hope: Green and Blue

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Thanks to a dog that has trained herself to void by the clock, I am now often up before dawn, eager to bear witness to the changing colors above. Below are the docks where blue lights glow throughout the night. They’ve put me in mind of Gatsby’s green light at the end of Daisy’s dock.

Fitzgerald’s narrator, Nick Carraway, contemplates that green light and compares it to America itself. Men of daring sculpted this nation. They were discoverers and builders. On this continent, they saw promise, but by Nick’s day, the Buchanans and the Gatsbys had stunted that promise. East Coast wealth had become indolent and corrupt. They built nothing; instead, they orchestrated shattered hearts and dreams without apparent remorse.

Gatsby longed to dwell among the great, inherited wealth, but having come from humble origins, he invented a new path: one of law-breaking and squalor. He entertained criminals and show people in order to earn a ticket into the company of men and women who imagined themselves unspoiled by such common venality. They granted Gatsby admission, but only as a diversion, a temporary toy with which to explore emotion.

My dock lights are blue. Like tiny lighthouses, they guide the boatman home after dark. Like the sky after dawn, those blue lights offer hope. Blue is sure and steady, the color advertisers often use for recruiting employee candidates and to communicate trust in the brand. Educational web sites often feature the color blue, suggesting a safe and enlightened place to be. Blue calms us and beckons us to the azure and cerulean waters around the world. Blue also assures us of safe passage, at least according to several religions.

How lovely to dwell in blue. Today, as gray clouds lead winter in, winds overhead blow open a heavenly window to the blue beyond. And tonight, the blue dock lights will glow, telling me that fairy tales can and do come true.

Reading Challenge:

Prepare for the latest film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, due in theaters in May 2013. Read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterful portrait of a nation that troubled his spirit in the early 1920s and of romantic dreams crushed.

Writing Challenge:

Using the color green or blue, convey the meaning of the color through detail and diction. For example:

The sky above blesses me. I know that I cannot be defeated under such a dome. (i. e., The color blue symbolizes safe passage.)

GUM (Grammar, Usage and Mechanics): Commonly Confused Words Amoral and Immoral

Immoral describes Jay Gatsby. During Prohibition, he distributes liquor, ignoring the law of the land in order to grow wealthy.

Amoral describes Tom and Daisy Buchanan. The consequences of adultery and even vehicular manslaughter do not seem to trouble their sleep.