Kelsey Writes
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The shade of blue called wild blue yonder
Creative Writing Journal

#7D96BD: Wild Blue Yonder

When I think of blue, I think of Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, a collection of her unwinding thoughts and memories associated with the color and I understand it. I feel that inner need to pull apart a color and examine its web of associations. I too have so many thoughts and memories around the color blue. So many associations with this particular shade. 

In general, blue is a color I think of when I think of expansion. The color of the sky on a sunny day, for example, is one of the most freeing colors I can think of. On the flip side of that, are much darker shades. Navies and indigos are expansive in a different way; they can be never-ending in their depth. Think of emotions like sadness or despair. These associations are fairly common and ones most of us make as they are so engrained in our culture but I love to pinpoint all the shades in between. What emotion is the color of your mother’s faded denim jacket? What color is that exact feeling of anguish?

This shade, hex code #7D96BD, is the color of my yesterday. The color of my last number of weeks. It is blue but not too blue, a shade dipping towards periwinkle. In comparison to lighter shades, to the shade of blue on a summer’s day, it is darker. Quieter and more reserved. When I found this shade, I was looking at a photo I had taken recently of the sky and the frozen water just as the sun had set. There was still a line of pink and orange, a soft light on the horizon which is important to note. #7D96BD is the feeling of restlessness, uncertainty but it is not without hope. It is a color that wouldn’t be possible without the soft pink light nearby. It is the color of wandering when wandering turns to searching

Its name, Wild Blue Yonder, rings true. My life right now feels wild, and at times, somewhere in the distance beyond my grasp. There is a path close by and a journey ahead. I’m just searching for the right place to plant my feet and begin.

Creative Writing Journal Life

Alive

I have been writing I am alive in various places at various times throughout my life. It is a phrase that on the surface seems so simple. A statement. A confirmation of something I have taken for granted every day of my life. But when you pull back its layers and really examine it, there is a lot more to it. The more I think about it, the more alive becomes one of those Big Words that we never really define like Love, one of those Big Words we can only hover around the edges of.

It’s not a phrase that you write accidentally. Those three words are strung together with purpose. A declaration. I think that’s why it’s a phrase I keep coming back to. I have written it in notebooks, on windows, on napkins, in messages, in poems, in sand, on skin. Every time I write it, it comes with a new meaning and a greater depth from new experiences.

I AM ALIVE written in childish uppercase on yellow construction paper in purple crayon like the bold statement it was. I was young and announcing my presence to the world, similar to saying I AM HERE. How exciting to be alive & bold & shining.

I am alive, a soft marvel of discovery scratched in blue ink in a textbook flipped open to diagrams of the skeletal system.  An exploration of my aliveness, an exploration of all the pieces that make up who I am. An exploration of all the systems working to keep me alive.

I am Alive written like a promise, like a prayer on the inside of my wrist in a dark bedroom. The relief in such a truth. The hope in moving forward. The weight of being alive beating like a drum inside me.

Three words that hold a lot of meaning to me. I come back to the word alive over and over, contemplating its definition & my own aliveness. Am I alive enough? What does that mean? How do I be more alive in the way I go through life? Alive as here & now; alive as breathing, moving, dancing; alive as anticipation; alive as more things to come.

I come back to it now, I Am Alive, and it feels different yet again. This time, full; this time, beaming. I’m writing it here in this journal entry but it sits in my chest, expanding and collapsing on itself with my lungs as I breathe. As I move. As I live. I Am Alive, each word holding its weight, each word of equal importance. I Am Alive, I am saying and this is the happiest I think I’ve ever been.

Journal

Retreating to the Creative

Retreat

To move back. To withdraw. To change one’s decisions or plans. To enter a quiet or secluded place.

I spent this past weekend at a creative retreat. I’ll admit to being a little more intimidated by it than I needed to be. Essentially, it meant that I booked myself into a cozy cottage for the weekend and gave myself an excuse to spend all my time working on creative projects.

I’ve never attended a retreat of any kind before so I didn’t know what to expect or what progress I would come out of this weekend with. I thought I might have some time to refocus in on the poetry I’ve been neglecting for awhile now and that did happen. But as it turns out, this weekend was more about working on the most important creative project in my life: me.

I have a hard time defining exactly who I am. I’m the person that freezes when asked to tell a little bit about themselves or even worse… share a fun fact. In those moments, there is nothing interesting, let alone “fun” about me. It’s gotten a lot easier over the past few years as I have narrowed down my interests, have become more grounded and accepting of my body and have stopped letting outside opinions matter so much. Exploring personality theory has also been an important step in gathering the language to define who I am and what my values are.

Looking back, I like the term retreat and how many ways it fits this context so well. To withdraw physically to a quiet place undisturbed allows you to take another step back. To withdraw and confront the soul. Confront the mind. Confront the heart. When your focus is undivided, there’s nothing to hide behind, no pressing matter that pulls your attention away. The truth has no shield and nowhere left to run.

I’ll be honest with you: I have a lot of ugly truths. A lot of flaws that I don’t particularly care for but they’re mine and a part of who I am. I have a lot of beautiful truths in me too, many of which the world hasn’t seen bloom yet. Strengths that I often underestimate.

One truth though is this: it all comes back to is writing. The thing that started it all and will continue to keep presenting itself over and over as if to say, pay attention, this is important. That is why I’m writing this. This is me accepting that writing is my truth that I don’t want to hide from anymore and hoping that maybe it’ll help me discover new ones along the way.