The Search for Silent Colors
We all know garishly loud colors when we see them. Typically in the range of red, orange, and yellow, loud colors are unwelcome in business attire, unless one's business happens to be the circus. And we all know quiet colors by their instant calming effect. The quiet range of blue, green, and violet is beloved by home designers. But what of silent colors? If they exist, would we find them in cloistered monasteries, or hushed libraries, or ruined castles?
The American ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson found a "sea of silent colors" when he tearfully witnessed the grandeur of the Grand Canyon for the first time. He reported a vivid array of silent reds, yellows, grays, and lavenders (Wild America
The poet A. F. Moritz found silent colors within the curves of a white seashell. He described a "diminished spectrum" of "shades of milk" ("You, Whoever You Are," Early Poems
, 1983). The naturalist Timothy Duane found "the silent colors of winter" blanketing the Sierra mountain chain (Shaping the Sierra
When feminist activist Ginny Foat found herself incarcerated, she discovered silent grays, blacks, and greens in the steel and cinder blocks of her cell (Never Guilty, Never Free
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