What If You Woke Up One Morning, And There Was Suddenly No Colour In Your World?

(Another Kickstarting Creativity piece)

This may be a little bit of a rambling post, for which I apologise in advance. To be honest, I didn’t pose this question (What if you woke up one morning, and there was suddenly no colour in your world?) with any thought of what the answer would be. I find it better to ask the kind of questions that don’t lead to a formulaic or predictable answer. I don’t want to confirm existing behaviours and thought patterns, I want to robustly examine them and make them better. But that’s beside the point, but then I did warn you. Rambling.

Yesterday, I read the prompt and thought immediately of depression. Or the day that I was walking through a shopping centre and realised they had completely redone it over the previous two years and I couldn’t remember any of it. That feeling of knowing I was in the same body, so looking at me from the outside I would be the same person, and yet I wasn’t. I had completely changed, in many fundamental ways, and I didn’t even know who I was anymore, or how I had got to be that person. I knew that epilepsy had stolen those years from me, but I didn’t (and to some extent still don’t) know what had happened to me, or how exactly I was different. It was like waking up into a dream, and not the nice kind. I thought maybe that’s what waking up to a world without colour would be.

But then last night, I thought “cat!” Not because my feline companion was upsetting me, but because cats see mostly in shades of grey, so waking up in a world without colour – well, you might have changed places with your cat overnight. Or any other animal with similar visual perception capabilities.

This morning, my mind had taken a left turn and decided that was way too difficult to write about. (I did warn you, rambling.) But then I thought, who says that seeing without the colour is a bad thing? What if we decided colour was just like visual noise? What if not having the colour allowed us to examine things differently, notice attributes and relationships in the environment that we wouldn’t otherwise see. Colour grabs our attention, demands to be noticed. But for all we know, there might be a whole world out there beyond the colour.

We’ve just been conditioned not to see it.

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