“What is your favorite color? Your favorite food? Your favorite animal?”
Children ask these questions incessantly (as do social media quizzes, but the latter are mining information for advertisers).
It’s difficult to explain to seven-year-olds that while you may like blue, it’s not your ultimate favorite, all the time, and many colors are beautiful in their own way. The interrogators keep insisting:
“But what’s your FAVORITE?”
Adults do this as well, but in a more sophisticated manner, choosing to name society’s favorites by awarding public encomiums with accompanying plaques.
“This is the PERSON of the year!” magazine covers announce.
“Here is our STUDENT of the MONTH!” schools pronounce.
Or, at specialty banquets — for work, an organization, some civic event, church — a presenter drones from his or her notes before announcing the SOMEONE of the YEAR!
(Sometimes, the someone is kind of cool, and we nod our heads and say, “Okay, if they have to give out awards like this, that person is a good choice.”
But other times, we think, “Seriously? That person? Were the choices that limited?”)
The artwork, Blossom, is an encouragement to all those people who will never be a Someone of the Year, or, if they do stumble upon such a human-driven honor, will feel it was given for all the wrong reasons.
The young woman in the painting has no favorite color. Her dress is blue, her wrap is orange, the blossoms above are pink and the surrounding landscape glows green. Breathing in deeply the heady aroma of spring, she is aware of the beauty around her, and knows that if you remove even one element of it — that branch reaching down toward her hands, say — you’ve changed the whole picture.
There is no Someone who is so important that they deserve the entire year. There is you. And there is me (I know, grammatically incorrect). And there are our neighbors, our co-workers, our cousins, our acquaintances, and a whole planet of complete strangers, some of whom would be instant friends if we met them, and others who . . . might take a bit more time.
We’re all colorful.
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