Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rainbow Club: The Year In Review

I wasn't really awake until about noon today, having stayed up to welcome in the new year, been subjected to an indignity which was actually quite fun, and then collapsed totally unconscious into bed. The power supply was cut around 3 am, according to some accounts from reliable sources, but I knew nothing till this morning.

The noon bells are pealing now, from a renowned coastal church. I love those noonday bells; they are almost as iconic to me as the noonday gun in Hongkong. But my vision of the world is a splintered kaleidoscope of a myriad (Greek: 'ten thousand') colours, all shifting and somehow managing a tolerable, even if not entirely beautiful, blend.

Of all things, I was awoken by this article about colours. Amazing. I'd always thought that the reason blue was an outstanding hero costume colour was that early colour separation had no true black. Perhaps I was wrong. I always enjoyed Power Man, Iron Fist though. It was even cooler than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon decades later.

If I had a superhero costume, I'd dress in shades of grey and greyed colours. Dirty-winter colours – dove grey, arctic fox, ermine, vair; dashes and blotches of pale disenchanted blues, slate, dusty green, dusky rose and raven to break up the silhouette. I think I might even be invisible in public housing, the way things are these days. I would be the ultimate urban ghillie, armed with ballistic wrath and shiny steel sharpness. Ha, then again, I'd feel more comfortable taking down the symbols of empire from the shadows of the catacombs.

Perhaps it is easier to expose fables from the corridors of cyberspace, as the 'stainless steel rat' so beloved of Harry Harrison. Sometimes one feels sympathy for one's fellow inmates in the institution one has been committed to for so long. Sometimes one feels the need to take a stand on the shifting ground.

And of course, sometimes one despairs of the world, only to find delight in the light – as, for example, when one thinks of the egregious uses to which the word 'holistic' has been put. Sometimes one notices that some people seem to have turned their eyes upon the wrong kind of shininess. And of course, then one turns to the fellow-workers who shine by doing their work well, and one celebrates them; for like Housman's mercenaries, what God sometimes seems to have abandoned, we defend, and save the sum of things for pay.

Thank God that He does not truly abandon. Thank God that the world remains a kaleidoscope – a 'vision of beautiful images' as the direct transliteration might show. And thank God for rainbows, which assure us that the world will not be whelmed by water ever again.

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