Feeling Color: A Guidebook | Teen Ink

Feeling Color: A Guidebook

August 7, 2022
By seojinahn BRONZE, Seoul, Other
seojinahn BRONZE, Seoul, Other
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Feeling Color: A Guidebook

Did you know colors can not only be seen but also be felt? This guidebook is designed for those who want to feel color, not only through the eyes but also through the heart. 


My earliest, unforgettable memory that clings in my head takes me back to when I was four. I departed from class, waving goodbye to my fellow kindergarteners as I ran to my mother waiting for me at the gate. My feet crunched, crunched on the unstoppable snow dancing from the sky to the ground. My mom greeted me with a hug so tight that she would only let me go as I jokingly said, “Momma, I can’t breathe!”. Then she passed me the hard warmer in her pocket– one so snug that it made me forget about the weather all the way back home. If only I had noticed her own hands were red from the cold. Red was also the color of the handmade signature soup waiting for me at home on these chilly days that I slurped on so messily, but she would smile and excuse my clumsiness nonetheless. Sadly, it was also the color of her face when I disappointed her with blunt lies through my phases of puberty. Motherly love is red. 


Shades of orange lingered in my eyes as I watched the sunset of California in awe in front of the ocean. Orange sunsets are like the grand finalé to my hectic days; as the sun goes down, it touches my skin to paint it orange and warm it up. It is as if the warmth also penetrates my soul– it makes me forget about all the troubles and negative thoughts that bustled inside my head for the whole day. I cherished the orange sunsets so much that I brought a micro version of it to my home, in the mood lamp by my bedside. On the days when life presents me with challenges and nothing seems to work out, I snuggle myself to bed with my little sun offering some solace to my darkest nights. 


Julia had the smile that would brighten anyone’s day. It is the sunflower petals that she pressed into the palms of the grumpy seven-year-old me from her tiny hands that barely covered half a book I still secretly keep inside my drawer. It was when she called out my name all across the room so loudly, inviting me, who was standing all by myself, to join her friends in a group activity, that I was secretly thankful but pretended to be embarrassed. It was the piece of memory when we yelled “Cheers!” as we clinked our glasses of lemonade on an innocent summer day that I would never forget. Julia, you are my yellow. 


Green colored my young mind who had to watch my infant brother in my mother’s arms, taking away the spotlight that had been solely mine. I was yet immature to share the love I received; I stacked all of my toys, food, and books in one corner so that they cannot be reached by him. Wishing for some fortune that my parents would return to me, I ran outside in the yard of grass to spot a four-leaf clover for hours but found none. My grandmother, observing my sadness, told me, “Honey, luck is rare, but happiness is everywhere.” It was only then that I spotted all of the three-leaf clovers around me that had never been in sight, like my brother’s undeniably cute smile. Green is happiness, only for those who can see it. 


The idiom of feeling blue means to feel a swarm of sadness and depression; I must argue with this social definition. Different shades of blue surround my life. I look up at the morning sky, light blue and clear, dropping me off the energy to start the day. I often visit the ocean when my mind is bustling to see the deep, dark blue waves take no action but simply come and go in front of my eyes. I close my eyes and wonder what lies beneath the blue– gigantic whales roaming silently, merely following the orders of nature. Opening my eyes again and watching the scene, I begin to simply appreciate my presence and the wonders of the earth I witness. Blue, to me, is appreciation and calmness. 


It was one of those indigo nights. Around midnight, you know, ambivalent feelings surround you, and you start to question everything about life. I took a walk to refresh my thoughts with the cool air soothing my skin. I look up; the sky is a mottled mix of blue and purple and black–a color I cannot name but what they call indigo. The sky seems like a massive black hole, an unfigurable wonder that hides so many things inside it; I throw a rock up in the air and imagine the sky will suck it up in the blink of an eye. Indigo resembles life; no one seems to have a definite answer or an explanation for it. My indigo night walk leads to indigo thoughts. Where are we heading? What is the direction of my life? I walk myself back home to sleep, still with no answers to my own indigo. 


Violet is quiet but fierce. Not a bold color– neither too saturated nor strong to the eye, but it holds a mysterious power that combines the fierceness of red and the stability of blue. Violet is Amelia, calm but never frail with her leather jacket on. Surrounded by loud boys in physics class, she raised her hand high up to volunteer to answer the most challenging question. In front of the whiteboard, her tiny body stands on its own, her hands steadily fathoming the lengthy equation. She is small, yet big. She is violet itself. 

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.