Red is all around this week in card shops and in heart motifs. I'm guilty of using it myself. But what does the colour RED make you think of? It makes me think of a big, blank empty screen. Like when you shut your eyes against the sun and your eyelids glow red inside.
And it makes me think of the word 'vermilion' and an all-consuming passion, and Mars, and fire. Monosyllabic. Simple yet complicated. Roses and poison and hearts and love. There are a multitude of connotations, many of them a cliché:
Fire Engine red, Pillar Box red. Danger and the red triangle of warning. Red lips. Maybe the reddest of red lipstick you've ever seen; a red gulf of glistening red micro-beads that last all day, reflecting red beams of light back into the atmosphere. An aura of red around the red-lipped wearer. Red lipstick stains on a white coffee mug or transparent glass or a cheating collar.
Is any other colour so evocative, so powerful, so in your face as RED?
It has passion and heat, pigment, energy, danger, daring and the devil all driving it on, forcing it into the consciousness of all and making it unforgettable.
It is the colour of hell and the Scarlet Woman and harlotry and evil.
"The red devil reigns on in riotous red!"
A primary colour, it is cheerful and vibrant and perfect for the festive season. The Crimson Petal and The White. It sits well against the purity of snow but is a crime when coupled with green.
It is a Shepard's warning and the hot, sticky night as the ball of red fire sets in the sky, rippling its death-dance daggers into the horizon.
It is the colour of heat and the opposite of cold. It smacks of sex and adultery and illicit adventure. Long red talons like the bloody claws of a bird of prey. Glamour and wealth and slutty hooker traits and the grotesque macabre of a clown's oversized nose. Regal, royal, religious, poppy-seeded hope in a field of faded faces.
Red hair framing a porcelain complexion, or the bullying taunts of being ginger?
It is popular, understood and AVAILABLE.
It turns heads and rages ferociously from nowhere when emotions collide. Slide. Dangerously. Vindictive, harmful; won't ever stop until the battle is won. Draws blood. Thick red blood that won't stop. Congealed life. A pin-prick or a stab wound.
Ludicrous, loud and it won't go away; can't get rid of the stain (you can never get rid of the stain.)
RED is volatile, explosive and out there. Whatever it makes you think of or what you think of it, be careful...
(Merry Christmas & Happy Valentine's!)