Mood indigo

I thought I’d give you (and myself) some respite from those awful bi-lingual  puns. Mind you, I could keep that kind of nonesense going all day – years of training round the family table has taken care of that. But I digress.

I was so encouraged by your supportive comments re the skip that I thought I’d share with you something that’s been bothering me for years.

I don’t know what ‘indigo’ is. I barely even know how to pronouce it. Is the ‘d’ silent? Like Inigo Jones? It’s got to a point where I’ll even avoid any conversations that might lead to ‘indigo’. Not that there are so many, you understand, but you never know.

I know, of course, that it fits in between blue and violet, but there never seems to be any room for a completely distinct colour there. In fact, that whole end of the spectrum is, frankly, cluttered. Apart from that, the only place you generally come across it is in the context of jeans – indigo-dyed. And the thing with jeans is, the colour is so mutable anyway, you don’t have to really deal with it. Just wait a few more washes and call it blue.

 I was brought face to face (as it were) with indigo a few years ago when I took up Tai Chi. Yes, really. One of the warm up exercises involved a particular Qigong routine accompanied by a visualisation of the colours of the rainbow, each in turn. Red, orange, yellow – I was fine with those. By green I was starting to worry. Blue saw me tense with fearful anticipation, and by the time I got to violet I’d completely lost any chi I’d accrued in the earlier part of the process. The whole indigo bit had passed in a blur of anxiety and desperate mental pan-tone consultation.

I dropped T’ai Chi. I just couldn’t take the strain.

What has encouraged me to re-confront my issue with indigo has been the recent resurgence of green as a fashion colour over the last couple of years. Do you wear green? What kind of green do you wear? Think about it now.

There are loads and loads of different greens. Ranging from nice green:

to nasty green (although the man looks rather nice, doesn’t he?):

Green is HUGE. It takes up far too much of the spectrum with it’s enormous range. (Can you see where I’m going with this?)

I suggest – a modest proposal, surely – that the rainbow should be changed thus:

red, orange, yellow, green (nasty), green (nice), blue, violet.

No indigo at all. No more indigo, no more stress.

Now, I know what you’re going to say here. I accept it may involve altering the rules of nature and physics, but that’s a small price to pay for my peace of mind. It also interferes with the acronyms for remembering the colours of the rainbow, but I’ve thought of that. Instead of: Richard of York Gave Battle In Vain we could have Richard of York Grew Great Big Vegetables or something like that. Cut me some slack – I’m working on it.

Anyway, it could be worse. We could be stuck with a rainbow like this:


Back to front and only FIVE colours (and a worryingly flatulent horse). You’d be better off with me running things, now wouldn’t you? (Could someone send some new felt pens, for goodness sake?)


13 thoughts on “Mood indigo

  1. that lovely Joni Mitchell Album would have to be renamed ‘turbulent something in between blue and violent that’s a little too hard to define or remember what it looks like unless you’re looking at it and someone tells you what it’s called’ which wouldn’t leave much room for that Van gogh style self portrait on the cover would it?

  2. billy thanks for your vote. y’know, i’m not even sure that awful song broaches the indigo issue, although i distinctly remember pink being mentioned! *shudder*
    rilly drat! that’s a serious objection. i shall retire to ponder, while humming another joni mitchell song. blue-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oooooo *that was a subliminal message*

  3. An Indigo Child would be a child that fits in between blue and violet, but there never seems to be any room for a completely distinct colour there.


    Roy G. Biv becomes Roy GnGn Bv.

  4. Aww! But I love indigo! That gorgeous bluey purply colour (beloved by nutty art teachers in kaftans – and other mad types too, now that I think about it!) Violet is nice and pretty but it is a gentle pinky purple as opposed to the more sombre, somewhat dangerous indigo.

    Can’t we keep it and ditch magenta instead? Magenta – urr!

  5. steph poor little indigo child, squeezed down at that end of the spectrum. i’m sure that would be terrible for his spiritual development!
    fluttercrafts there’s another one – what, pray, is puce? and vermillion, and magenta? all fancy colours must account for themselves henceforth
    violet it would give you a lot more room, wouldn’t it?
    spymum you’ve said it yerself! ‘bluey-purpley’ – that would be a much better name. i agree, btw, – indigo has a whiff of patchouli about it. i’m not even certain what magenta is – but i may have a pair of shoes that will have to be banned under your new rule.
    mangonel consider it banished. even the name is horrid. it’s the sort of colour posh school blazers come in.
    otj i just know that’s because you both have luxuriant manes of hair – n’est-ce pas?
    spm if you like nasty green then i should send you a linen shirt i ill advisedly bought last year that makes me look as though i have the plague. mauve – gone. suddenly the world looks like an andy warhol painting … what have i done?

  6. There’s a very good fantasy novel by Graham Joyce called Indigo. In it, he claims the colour does not exist, and that it’s just made up to fit the rhyme. It’s a very good novel. And it accidentally supports your cause 🙂

    (It’s not unicorns and wizards type fantasy, more like Isabel Allende…)

  7. niki i’ll look out for that. i’m feeling sorry for indigo now, though, because i caught a bit of some awful programme on the disney channel the other day and it looks as if they’re trying to purge it too. so now i’m all indigo protection league (contrary? moi?)

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