The gifts of GRAY




This week’s Pause is for GRAY—the “G” word that jumps off the page and into my heart, mind, and soul with grace and gratitude for what the word conjures for my reflection and imagination. Gray is the space between two contrasting hues, poised in the middle between black and white. Gray, like black and white, is composed of all the colors; remaining neutral, connecting the extremes; holding the in-between. Currently, in paint colors, gray is one of the more popular colors for choices of décor for home and office. There are numerous colors of gray to choose, some light, some dark, some with tinges of every color in the rainbow, and some “simply gray”.

Our world is so black and white, it becomes refreshing to view the world in gray scope: Looking at the world through lenses that see all the colors, and yet stay grounded in the middle. “Middle ground”, “middle way”, “fair to middling”—The gift of gray keeps me centered. I can explore the far corners of the extreme black and the white, and I can always go home to the middle consolations of gray. Gray space is calming, soothing, relieving, and peaceful—the color itself, and all of my associations with the word, GRAY.

In Great Britain, GRAY is spelled, GREY. Neither is incorrect, just peculiar verbiage for each locale and transferred between both cultures. I write about the word, Gray/Grey. What kind of feelings come up for me in association with that word? I find things I love about gray: the colors we chose to paint the walls of our Indianapolis homes; my experience of dealing with the diversity of race, creed, politics, and division in our world; the sky and the weather manifesting as gray this time of year, and my very dear forever friend, Gray, who makes life on this planet gracious, lovely, fun, thoughtful, and wonderful.

Our world needs colorful souls who can be gray in acceptance, action, and relationship. Middle-makers are gray perceivers who bring all the colors together for peaceful, harmonic amalgamation. Two sides to every story meet in the middle with the mediation of gray. We get to celebrate diversity like we celebrate contrasting paint colors, meeting in the middle to appreciate the meeting ground for each “different, yet the same” discourse.

This season is our first experience of snow birding in Florida, “The Sunshine State.” I can count on one hand the days of sunshine we’ve experienced since late January when we arrived at our Perdido Key home. I’ve learned to be grateful for the warmth and sunshine when we experience them. My happy dances are incredible on those days. I’ve learned to love the gray days as opportunities to go inward, forgo sunscreen, and be grateful for the magnificence that we call weather: volatile, uncontrollable, and as real as it gets. Gray days allow me to appreciate blue ones with sunny skies and clouds of white. Actually, because gray skies have been gracing my Florida winter, I’ve learned to value them as gifts to my yoga practice, stillness, and writing.

A very special friend I love is a guy named Gray. For almost 40 years we’ve been friends, and he’s been Gerry’s friend even longer than those almost four decades. Gray is a person who lives from his heart. He is authentic, loyal, loving, sincere, and true. A perfect friend definition was probably created with him in mind. In urban dictionary, a person named Gray is a rarity. So, too, is my friend Gray. He meets whomever he is with in the middle: compassion and grace personified. I thank God for R. Gray Tweedy!

Color, conversation, meeting ground, perfect friend, changeable sky—all Gray.

Thank you, God, for the gifts of GRAY.


4 thoughts on “The gifts of GRAY

  1. Carol – I really enjoyed this essay on grey. As a culture, we have become so polarized in our black and white positions. Or, another way to say it, we have regressed to an immature level of cognition. You hit square on the mark of where my thoughts, prayers, intentions, and actions are these days. Thank You. Karen


  2. Great meditation on gray/grey/Gray! Are you and Gerry now permanent snowbirds? Sorry if I missed a post where you covered your move down there. Love to you both from India


  3. Dearest Carol,

    I loved this blog especially the last paragraph that starts with the sentence, “The world needs more colorful souls who can be gray in acceptance, action and relationship. Lots of Love, Nancy



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