Mattia was right: the days had slipped over her skin like a solvent, one after the other, each removing a very thin layer of pigment from her tattoo, and from both of their memories. The outlines, like the circumstances, were still there, black and well delineated, but the colors had merged together until they faded into a dull, uniform tonality, a neutral absence of meaning.
It was octarine, the colour of magic. It was alive and glowing and vibrant and it was the undisputed pigment of the imagination, because wherever it appeared it was a sign that mere matter was a servant of the powers of the magical mind. It was enchantment itself. But Rincewind always thought it looked a sort of greenish-purple.
Potassium cyanide," says the talent wrangler as she leans over to pick up a paper napkin off the floor. "Found naturally in the cassava or manioc roots native to Africa, used to tint architectural blueprints in the form of the deep-blue pigment known as Prussian blue. Hence the shade 'cyan' blue.
My mantra is, 'Don't be afraid of color.' What did it do to you? Do a color testing in alternate kinds of light you desire in the room because the pigment will change. And I refuse to believe that pale pale or white colors in a small room will buy you more square footage. Go with color all the way.
Lately, however, on abandoning the brindled and grey mosquitos and commencing similar work on a new, brown species, of which I have as yet obtained very few individuals, I succeeded in finding in two of them certain remarkable and suspicious cells containing pigment identical in appearance to that of the parasite of malaria. As these cells appear to me to be very worthy of attention ... I think it would be advisable to place on record a brief description both of the cells and of the mosquitos.
You have a lot to learn, young man. Philosophy. Theology. Literature. Poetry. Drama. History. Archeology. Anthropology. Mythology. Music. These are your tools as much as brush and pigment. You cannot be an artist until you are civilized. You cannot be civilized until you learn. To be civilized is to know where you belong in the continuum of our art and your world. To surmount the past, you must know the past.
A painting is nothing more than light reflected from the surface of a pigment-covered canvas. But a great painter can make you see the depth, make you feel the underlying emotion, make you sense the larger world. That, too, is the power of science: to sense and convey the depth and dimensionality of nature, to glance at the surface and to divine the shape of the universe around us.
We should not be too quick to dismiss our own [ocular] arrangement. As so often in biology, the situation is more complex...we have the advantage that our own light-sensitive cells are embedded directly in their support cells (the retinal pigment epithelium) with an excellent blood supply immediately underneath. Such an arrangement supports the continuous turnover of photosensitive pigments. The human retina consumes even more oxygen than the brain, per gram, making it the most energetic organ in the body.
Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that's dynamic and expressivee-that's what's good for you if you're at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. "In the time of your life-live!" That time is short and it doesn't return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.
I have hazarded into a new corner of the world, an unknown spot, a Brigadoon. Before me extends a low hill trembling in yellow brome, and behind the hill, filling the sky, rises an enormous mountain ridge, forested, alive and awesome with brilliant blown lights. I have never seen anything so tremulous and live. Overhead, great strips and chunks of cloud dash to the northwest in a gold rush. At my back the sun is setting- how can I have not noticed before that the sun is setting? My mind has been a blank slab of black asphalt for hours, but that doesn't stop the sun's wild wheel. I set my coffee on the curb; I smell loam on the wind; I pat the puppy; I watch the mountain. Shadows lope along the mountain's rumpled flanks; they elongate like root tips, like lobes of spilling water, faster and faster. A warm purple pigment pools in each ruck and tuck of the rock; it deepens and spreads, boring crevasses, canyons. As the purple vaults and slides, it tricks out the unleafed forest and rumpled rock in gilt, in shape-shifting patches of glow. These gold lights veer and retract, shatter, and glide in a series of dazzling splashes, shrinking, leaking, exploding. The ridge's bosses and hummocks sprout bulging from its sides; the whole mountain looms miles closer; the light warms and reddens; the bare forest folds and pleats itself like living protoplasm before my eyes, like a running chart, a wildly scrawling oscillography on the present moment. The air cools; the puppy's skin is hot. I am more alive than all the world. This is it, I think, this is it, right now, the present, this empty gas station, here, this western wind, this tang of coffee on the tongue, and I am patting the puppy, I am watching the mountain. Version 1 (joy)