Friday, May 29, 2015

First Word: Roger Higgins: Lilac

Today we are showcasing guest writer Roger Higgins. Roger lives in Australia, and drops by once a year (or so) to share a Thursday session and some fine words!

In the seven-colour scientific spectrum, lilac doesn’t actually exist. So let’s assume, for the sake of an assumption, that lilac is the collaborative offspring of a honey bee and interior designer of the late Paleolithic era. After all, lilac has been around for quite a while, as a flower and a colour, even though it is not on the colour spectrum officially.
            Lilac appears as highlights on the roof and walls of Chauvet caves in France, where the first evidence of abstract creative art is to be found. The honey bee we can quickly dispense with – a bee is a bee is a bee. It is the interior designer who is really interesting. I suspect he (gotta be a “he”) was not too expert at hunting mammoths or wild cats, as was assigned other tasks as a young man. I believe his name was Gavin.
             Gavin’s job was to manage colour – from the deep red of uncooked mammoth steaks, to the incandescent orange of the fire, the tawny brown of the loin cloths, the blue reflected in small waterholes, all the way to lilac, which he learned not to over-do – just a few streaks around the fingers of the ochre hand print on the wall, and around the eyes of the two-dimensional ox that he drew in the sleeping alcove. Gavin liked lilac, which he saw in the lupines and the delicate namesake flower which grew at the base of the scree slops of the hills that sheltered the encampment.  But the tribe has no use for cut flowers in the cave. Lilac became Gavin’s signature, mixed from some deep purple and white clays in the stream bed to create the colour of the flowers, and to unburden the somber, smoke-stained interiors.  And so interior design theme colours were born, and in some studios in NYC and Paris, there is a style that is immediately recognized by professional designers – it is called the Gavinesque.

(Roger has recently released a new book of Poetry - Surf Sounds.  Surf Sounds is available from lulu and amazon.)

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