I spent April writing my way through the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge with Color Contemplations, and today I’m accepting the invitation to reflect on the journey.
I’ve long delighted in obscure and obsolete words, and I happened to come across a couple of lists of such color names. It totally ignited me and inspired my challenge topic. I managed to find a color for each letter and then spent a delicious period of time in March experimenting with watercolors and inks, painting a swatch for each of my chosen colors. As has been my practice for all the years I’ve been playing in the challenge, I didn’t write my posts in advance. I love the challenge of allowing myself to be pulled into whatever direction the present moment calls me to, and so for each of my posts, I’d sit with the day’s color, and contemplate it. Then with my usual free association, stream-of-consciousness writing, I’d share whatever came to mind. It amused me to think of it as giving you a peek into the rainbow brainwaves emanating from my head.
I know some people might have been expecting or might have preferred posts that were more linear descriptions of each color, but actually, I was also trying to push those boundaries a bit as well. I absolutely believe that none of us sees the same thing. There is no way to know if what I see when I look at a blue is the same thing you see. Yet, for the most part, we assume we’re seeing the same thing. We might be willing to accept that colors display differently on different monitors and the like, but why should we imagine our brains and our eyes, and all the magic that is us, is seeing the same thing? So my hidden hope was that as I riffed about what the color meant to me, what it evoked in my mind and heart, it would inspire someone else to consider that not only do we not have to assume we see the same things, but that we can expand our definitions in far greater ways.
In truth, I think this is really a core value of the entire A-to-Z challenge for me. Here we are, hundreds of people, writing about unique topics, sharing our thoughts, our viewpoints, our experiences, our imaginings, and we all understand there will be folks who are simply not interested or in resonance with us, and also there will be others who might be entertained, or curious, or catch a spark of something that expands them a bit. And it’s all good. We push ourselves, which is the point of the challenge, we catch a proverbial wave, and we see where it takes us.
It amuses me that the dedicated theme of this year’s challenge was resilience, because that certainly was in play for me, and I suspect for many others as well, in ways we might not have imagined.
A few days into the challenge, I became ill, and literally spent a couple of weeks in bed, often with only enough energy to write my post, and spend another 10 minutes on a daily art creation for my 100-day project. I refused to give up on either project, and frankly, I’m inordinately delighted with the sense of accomplishment I feel. I did not get to visit every blog, which is always my ultimate goal, but I did visit 130 of them at least once, and often multiple times, and I’m satisfied with that effort. There are, of course, many I will be returning to and playing catch up with, but I’m good with that as well.
From my perspective, I think there was considerably less commenting this year than in the past. While, of course, it could be simply that since my own commenting was less than normal, I saw that in return. But actually, it seemed less on other blogs I visited as well.
I initiated a plan last year that I intended to pursue again this year, but unfortunately it was a total failure. My goal was, for blogs that were doing serial stories, I’d visit on Sundays and catch up on the week’s posts. My energy level just wasn’t up for the task, but I still think it’s a good-fit plan for me in general.
As always, I was delighted with the assortment of intriguing things folks chose to write about. It amuses me to think of all the participating blogs as part of a wonderful Cabinet of Curiosities, offering all manner of interesting things to peek at and explore.
I’m offering a shout-out of genuine gratitude to the members of the A-to-Z team – kudos for all your work!
I’m grateful to everyone who stopped by during the challenge, whether once, or faithfully, or any permutation between. It’s always a joy to connect.
I unabashedly love April and the challenge and appreciate everyone who decides to play. I always feel as though I end the month at least a little exhausted and yet filled to the brim. My well of ideas and inspirations has multiplied, my reading, listening, and to-watch lists grew, and my brain has been filled with all manner of things I’ve never considered or possibly even knew about before. How does it get any better than that?
Earlier this year, I came across these words written by Jonas Merkas: “In a meadow full of flowers, you cannot walk through and breathe those smells and see all those colors and remain angry. We have to support the beauty, the poetry of life.”
I think that sums up perfectly how I feel about the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge and the community that plays in it, and those who support it. What a delight it all is!