Rose-Colored Areas

C-Time, as many call it. It almost sounds like tea time. With abbreviations like this, we automatically shift the meaning into a new framework. A framework that makes things more bearable, because the word almost sounds cute and pushes ugly words like Shut-Down with all its consequences into the background. C-Time - we start seeing things through rose-colored glasses, and immediately things aren't as bad anymore. Again, I realize: Things don't have a meaning, we give them a meaning. Always - even when it comes to colors.

By themselves, colors unfold their meaning within us. That's why I'd like to introduce you to the color rose - red's little sister. Everyone perceives little sisters differently, and the perceptions are manifold. Every nuance of rose brings a smile, a smirk, or even makes us happy. Rose lets us reminisce about childhood with carousels, dresses, lollipops, and cotton candy. And now, all of it is frowned upon.

On the other side of the spectrum lies a world full of ghosts, dragons, and knights that fight for us. I've noticed the framework of the color black for the first time when I was a child. Since then, I know that black stands for the evil or the strong man. I'm trying to imagine a knight in rose-colored armor, and I can't manage to do it without starting to laugh. A rose-colored dragon is more accessible because of Tabaluga, we know, that dragons can be friendly, too.

During this time, the excitement about going to the circus or a funfair was tremendous - and rose-colored. At some point, we grew up and rose was crazy, at best, or embarrassing, at worst. Later, rose meant gay or unsophisticated. And like that, black dominated rose. Powerful black. For doers. For the people who lead and have something to say. For fashionable people. A colorless world with precise tasks and roles - a framework without any wiggle room.

All these thoughts came up while I read Sabrina Görlitz's blog post:

In the blog post, Sabrina talks about our Zoom call and how much C-Time pushes us into a grey area. During the conversation, I associate: Grey is dull, blurs our vision, becomes unbearable quickly. Grey is old, boring, and undecisive - mediocre. Uninteresting. Grey makes invisible. And who wants to be grey?

While my parallel world of thoughts is unfolding, Sabrina tells me that she used to be a black and white woman who couldn't make anything of grey areas. I recognize what she says because I, too, had to learn to appreciate the grey areas, i.e., the middle ground. My trick was to think in red and white instead of black and white. And immediately, I'm off the hook, because I inevitably end up in the pink area. This middle ground is excellent.

What if we stopped and stayed there? Then this small rose-color would provide a framework to meet. A place we need so badly in these times, to think and to be physically present. Maybe virtual versions can serve as a stand-in to figure out this framework until we can use it to physically meet? I at least think the possibility of these thoughts is intriguing.

More and more, I realize that grey and rose are a pair just like black and white, right and wrong. All that matters is my association with a word, and immediately, everything is different. Once I get to this point and look at Corona and its impact on our society and our health, I realize how much we are fixated on a black-and-white vision. The red-and-white vision could serve as its counterpart.

Welcome to the Rose-Colored Area

I define rose-colored areas as frameworks that we have to learn to redefine and enjoy. Rose-colored areas are places we move into even when we don't know the direction yet. All the terrible, drastic consequences of political Corona related decisions threaten to let our world drown in undefined grey. Instead of losing color, the world objectively wins if we think rose instead of grey.

For example, sunsets are currently so much more magnificent than they have been. And they show themselves in a splendid rose-colored red. During my walk, late this evening, I saw treetops dipped in rose. Of course, there are no rose-colored trees, so I wondered briefly whether the canopy had dried up. Then I realized how powerful the rose light reflected off the green leaves. As if nature wanted to say: Just look. There's so much more.

And the rose-color is there in other situations: My friend Ignasi finds his freedom in quarantine, namely, to simply draw what he wants, and not what he has to. People go for walks again, consciously seeking movement, occupying themselves.

So I have arrived in my rose-colored area and observe the black-grey right and wrong. A pair of words that takes freedom and prevents growth. Clear positions that rarely occur in reality. Rose-colored areas, on the other hand, create relaxation because they are new and not close to the grey areas that seem so much more familiar to us. Regardless of whether we like them or not. Rose brings something to the surface, makes it more visible.

How did I come up with this? Here is a memory of the preparation of my first textbook: I struggled with the countless tables and confessed it to my graphic designer. She replied that this was due to the grey background, which is supposed to give the data more factual and scientific seriousness. This is hard on the eyes because the grey swallows the letters. "And what makes them stand out?" I asked. Her answer, surprising to me at the time, was "pink." So we added a touch of rose-color to the grey, and the letters stood out more clearly. Essentially, for a short moment, we met within a new framework - a rose-colored area.

At this point, the contact ban is being loosened, and there are countless discussions about right or wrong. No grey, only fear and insecurity, or the blind following of rules. I plead for regular meetings in pink areas as a space to think or an oasis of relaxation. Because the frequency of the color rose has a relaxing effect on the nerves. It allows us a moment of freedom in times when we are still and permanently restricted. Starting in the grey area, the aim is to find the way to a normality that is as close as possible to normality "before Corona." Or is this the way into a relatively grey new normal? Yes, the transition from complete contact ban to slow opening can be a grey zone, but should not be.

Far away from football decisions, the reopening of restaurants, fitness studios, schools, offices, wine markets, or mandatory mask-wearing, far away from the defined grey area of our social opening, there is the little sister of red. Here a new start could be made into a meaningfully designed future. A chance to free ourselves internally, to learn to be creative, childlike, responsible, and joyful. Perhaps with the reconnection to nature, because we need this world. The opposite is not the case.

What do I take with me from the rose-colored area? A portion of confidence - and the realization that I can only get through this time with radical acceptance, a clear mind, and an open heart.

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For decades I have owned notebooks in which I write my thoughts and ideas, a few lines every day, sometimes more. I want to share the creation process and the resulting stories with you.

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