It’s like trying to describe why you love the way oatmeal looks. It’s gray, face it. It oozes.
It’s not colorful but it sometimes hides sweet colorful things, like raspberries or bright green bits of a diced Granny Smith.
It’s like trying to bottle the feeling you got when, slightly car sick, you dozed off in the back of the station wagon, and dreamily overheard a conversation between your parents that you didn’t fully understand. It was raining, the wipers squeaking and groaning, it was night time, semi-truck lights bearing down, passing, bearing down again, your siblings asleep in the seat ahead, your dad’s deep voice, the glow of the dashboard haloing your mom’s short dark curls, the last thing you see before you slide down into the crevasse between the back seat and the way-way back. And that’s when something sharp cuts through the dozy-long-distance-drive fog.
Your mother. She’s angry! You’ve never heard her speak so forcefully, and even if the individual words are swallowed by grumbling highway drone, you know something’s wrong.
It’s like reading a poem you cannot understand, but cannot stop reading. You bump through it, feeling the fuzzy edges of emotions scraping your heart. You stumble, arms outstretched, as lights appear in the distance, as trees turn into mountains, as mountains are swallowed whole, as bushes graze like herds of buffalo. Through the murk, color surges—brake lights and red maple leaves—like berries stirred up in a bowl of fog-gray oatmeal on an ordinary Tuesday when someone you love tells you to go, go! Go out into the fog, just go! And you go, and the world makes no sense half the time, does it? Because a five minute walk can swallow you whole, like you were a spoonful.
In an instant, you’re not sleepy, not stirring oatmeal, no–you are in the oatmeal, you’re a bright bit, maybe?
Yes, yes. You are.
While you slept, love descended like a cloud sent from heaven to make the pitch across the road look like a painting. In the invisible rustle of birds, you sense your mother near. The birds sing, or maybe it’s her, there in the fog, another beautiful bright bit.
Love is always hidden in the gray. Stir, stir, stir it up.