My perception of colors

My perception of colors

Posted on Sun, 05/07/2006 - 20:10 by Mohammed

Being blind since birth, I never really had an idea about the meaning of colors other than the theoretical perception gained by my imagination, and the
common knowledge I got from school, although it wasn’t much. More on my school life will be posted later.

Ironic as it may sound, I have always been in need of a vivid understanding of colors due to my passion in designing web pages. I could, however, always
get away by getting help from sighted people.

This whole understanding was put to the test through a very interesting chat I had with my best friend the other day, and I am forever grateful to her for
making me “see” and in different occasions

“Ok, can you describe to me some scene of nature? you will know what I mean later”

“Like the scene of the other day, near the sea, remember? It wasn’t much, but I kept imagining how the color of the sky was reflecting on the sea, and seamlessly
the sky and the sea blend colors. It is like they were unified. The horizons with so much to tell and so much to draw, together with the scene of the sea
created a superb experience. It’s like everything was talking to each other in great harmony.”

“What colors did you mix in the imagination?”

“Blue, basically blue, with varying degrees depending on the time of the day. Also the dark green color or whatever color it was of the shore that was covered
with what resembles grass.”

“If I ask you, what is yellow, what would you say?”

“abyad mayi3″ (brownish white)

“and what is, abyad maaye3 (brownish white)? what difference is there between yellow and blue?”

“Blue has to be darker perhaps? slightly, very slightly? but then again, blue can be very light”

“Ok, blue is close to what? red, green, or yellow?”

“Blue has to be the most confusing color to me, because it comes in varying degrees, as I learned, so that doesn’t help the imagination. it can resemble
them all.”

“Well, all colors can come in varying degrees, except for black and white. confusing?”

“hmmm, yes, I would say.

“I will tell you what. look, it’s really not easy, so I will try to give you examples.

It’s like, having a cup of coffee; one can have it too thick, medium, or too light, just like water. in the end, you will never mix its flavor with tea.
All colors are this way.”

I was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa - RP. This disease is of a degenerating type, so I can, until now, distinguish between black and white. in view of
this, my friend went on trying to explain colors to me in different explanation methods.

“Like you said, white is the lightest color, and black is the darkest. The rest of the colors fall between these. Yellow can be dark or light, but generally
it’s more .. well, not really dark, but dense. I mean, it’s not darkish to resemble black, but it’s dark enough.”

of course, the traditional way to say what a color is, is to say that it’s like the color of a lemon or the sun or i donno what. This doesn’t help, because
I never saw those objects with my eyes. This way only teaches me that lemon is yellow, not what yellow is.

so, Miss Eloquence, as I like to call her, kept trying to create ways to explain this mystery to me. Here are some interesting excerpts:

“Let’s talk in terms of heat. Colors can be either hot, or cold. Hot colors are energetic colors.
For instance, red is a seductive color.

Cold colors are soothing, and calm. they give you a feeling of tranquility when you look at them.”
“Pink is a cheerful color. It’s cold, and sweet. It’s the color associated with girls. they, generally, like pink.”

“Imagine you’re in a boat in a lake. around the lake, you see big oak trees, roses, and yellow buds. the sun up is bright and warm, and the lake’s water
is smoothly and gently moving your boat ahead. describe how this scene, and the diverse colors, affect your soul.”

I answered: “the sun would be the glowing color, the hot element that is ever so attractive, so awakening. the flowers and the buds, with the pinkish element
gives the view its tranquility, sweetness, and liveliness. The oak trees with the reddish color they provide inspiration yet more tranquility and calmness.
It contrasts with the sun to create a wonderful balance. The boat in the running water will be like the active buzz of life.”

“Ok, let me describe this same scene to you. My only purpose is to show you what each color will mean to me
Looking at the green, big oak leaves, my heart with be filled with peacefulness. the blue water makes me feel calm, and serene. It’s so soothing and relaxing.
In contrast to that, the bright sun, its yellow rays fill me with warmth. It’s too bright, I can’t look at it. but I can look at its reflection on the
transparent, blue water, glittering like small diamonds carried by the lake’s calm water. The yellow buds are so lively, they fill the whole atmosphere
with energy, while the beautiful red roses move all my senses, as I approach them with the boat to pick a rose and give it to you.

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