The darkness behind my closed eyelids was like the cloud-covered sky, but the gray was somewhat deeper. Every few minutes, someone would come and paint over the gray with a different-textured gray - one with a touch of gold or green or red. I was impressed with the variety of grays that existed. Human beings were so strange. All you had to do was sit still for ten minutes, and you could see this amazing variety of grays.
After midday, the rain eased, and the Land Rover rode into Pokhara on a shaft of storm light. Next day there was humid sun and shifting southern skies, but to the north a deep tumult of swirling grays was all that could be seen of the Himalaya. At dusk, white egrets flapped across the sunken clouds, now black with rain; on earth, the dark had come. Then four miles above these mud streets of the lowlands, at a point so high as to seem overhead, a luminous whiteness shone- the light of snows. Glaciers loomed and vanished in the grays, and the sky parted, and the snow cone of Machhapuchare glistened like a spire of a higher kingdom. In the night, the stars convened, and the vast ghost of Machhapuchare radiated light, although there was no moon.
We don't have to live up to the expectations of others. Passion is personal. As long as our passion is fueled with the right stuff then keep on plodding forward. I'll never be Mark Twain or Tom Clancy. But that's okay, because neither of them could teach you to mix a boundless number of grays, or where to place the catch light in a portrait.
Traditionally, there have been two major strains of motivation (or perceived motivations) in anarchist politics: Duty and Joy. Like any duality, it is easy to fall into the trap of simplistic black and white labels, ignoring the more realistic continuum of grays. Instead, think of these two motivations as the end points on a continuum, illuminating everything in between.
Curious George Brigade
I use dull colors in my drawings because I started out using a root beer base, because it seemed like an interesting idea, and when it turned out that it worked quite well as an ink, I started using other colors that would complement it, like grays from Higgins black writing ink and, more recently, Dr. P.H. Martin's olive green and vermilion.
The Drab Age is over. Color is coming into its own again. Until very recently people were literally scared out of their wits by color. Perhaps this was a hangover from our Puritan ancestors. But whatever the reason, brown, grays and neutrals were the only shades considered 'safe.' Now we know that lovely, clear colors have a vital effect on our mental happiness. Modern doctors and psychiatrists are convinced of this!
A city is where you can sign a petition, boo the chief justice, fish off a pier, gaze at a hippopotamus, buy a flower at the corner, or get a good hamburger or a bad girl at 4 A.M. A city is where sirens make white streaks of sound in the sky and foghorns speak in dark grays. San Francisco is such a city.
The Sophisticate: 'The world isn't black and white. No one does pure good or pure bad. It's all gray. Therefore, no one is better than anyone else.' The Zetet: 'Knowing only gray, you conclude that all grays are the same shade. You mock the simplicity of the two-color view, yet you replace it with a one-color view...
Since then I have searched for my heroes among small-t truths. I always find them among people learning the art of acceptance: not acceptance of defeat or acceptance of some inability to influence their own futures, but rather acceptance of life on the planet, acceptance of the grays rather than the black-and-whites, acceptance of the astonishing range of human emotion and human behavior.
Josh wanted to be the one to break the color barrier. When the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson he knew it was over for him. He wasn't going to make the big leagues, and he also knew that because of his health and his bad knees his career with the Grays was about over. He didn't know what to do with himself. They say a man can't die of a broken heart, and I guess that's true. But I'll tell you this, all of this sure lessened Josh's will to keep going, to keep fighting to stay alive.
The man who can see all gray, and red, and purples in a peach, will paint the peach rightly round, and rightly altogether. But the man who has only studied its roundness may not see its purples and grays, and if he does not will never get it to look like a peach; so that great power over color is always a sign of large general art-intellect.
Besides my professional goals, I have a couple of private ones, my man. One of those is to pet a kangaroo before I leave Australia. I understand there's lots of Eastern Grays around this area. What do you say? Are you in?' Bergman looked at him like he'd just made the worst financial investment of his life. 'Kangaroos are wild animals. I've heard they claw like girl fighters and kick like jackhammers. You're going to get your skull crushed.' Cole held up a finger. 'Or I'm going to pet a kangaroo. How cool would that be?
She sat down on one of her grandmother's uncomfortable armchairs, and the cat sprang up into her lap and made itself comfortable. The light that came through the picture window was daylight, real golden late-afternoon daylight, not a white mist light. The sky was a robin's-egg blue, and Coraline could see trees and, beyond the trees, green hills, which faded on the horizon into purples and grays. The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world ... Nothing, she thought, had ever been so interesting.
People in coats and ties were milling around the Talley gallery, and on the wall were the minimally rendered still lifes by Giorgio Morandi, most of them no bigger than a tea tray. Their thin browns, ashy grays, and muted blues made people speak softly to one another, as if a shouted word might curdle one of the paintings and ruin it. Bottles, carafes, and ceramic whatnots sat in his paintings like small animals huddling for warmth, and these shy pictures could easily hang next to a Picasso or Matisse without feeling inferior.
The years between thirty-five and sixty-five revolve before the passive mind as one unexplained, confusing merry-go-round. True, they are a merry-go-round of ill-gaited and wind-broken horses, painted first in pastel colors, then in dull grays and browns, but perplexing and intolerably dizzy the thing is, as never were the merry-go-rounds of childhood or adolescence; as never, surely, were the certain-coursed, dynamic roller-coasters of youth. For most men and women these thirty years are taken up with a gradual withdrawal from life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald