Colors of Mexico

Today I sat in the living room at home.  I’ve repainted most of the downstairs.  I love Mexico for it’s lack of laws about what color is ‘in’ or which colors go together.  I have a pile of things to go to Cruz Roja—not as large as I‘d like, but certain things I can’t bring myself to pitch out.  Things with memories of people gone from the earth but still populating my brain.

I sat in the living room and looked around, everything re-arranged against the new colors.  No point in writing a memoir, anyone with two eyes could tell my life by sitting there.  Each wall is a different color.  I don’t care for rooms painted with a sameness, all walls one color, one choice to be surrounded by.  I like variety.

The wall by the street is yellow—glazed, rubbed on by hand, circular directions, never up and down, no straight lines.  Layer upon layer of yellows piled on top of the other, each one shining its own power and glow.  Sun.  Light.  Open.

The wall with the books, DVDs, boom-box, vases and memorabilia is green.  Light, spring, green tea, delicate sprouts, everything growing.  Not too many layers, a bit of glaze there…and there…for texture.  I don’t like flat either.

Facing the green on the long wall is the piece de resistance…pinky color.  To get the exact hue, a touch of white, a soupcon of marigold, a bit of peony, a cup or so of glaze, all together over a base coat of the softest lightest blush, the color of innocence, youth, first love, the flush on a virgin’s cheeks.  Layers rubbed in to give depth, the feeling of age, experience, knowledge.

The wall of the dining room is mellow lavender, the color of lilacs outside my childhood bedroom window.  The flowers foretold the coming of spring, their sweet fragrance reminding me life was moving on.  Time to grow tall, time to learn, time to be strong.

The Eiffel Tower and sidewalk cafes in France hang side by side with Flamenco dancers and flowers painted by a 1960’s artist, name long forgotten.  Canals in Venice, streets in Puerto Rico, women in Labadee, the South of France, our home in Spain.  I sit and look around and can fill in the blanks, memories of people, friends, some not so friendly.  All colors of the rainbow each with their own memory writ on walls and my mind.

As I sit in my room in Mexico, amid colors, layers and memories. . . I’m content.  But maybe, just maybe, I’ll add a dash of brilliant red someplace.  There’s always time to stir things up a bit.

About Alice Donenfeld-Vernoux

Alice Donenfeld-Vernoux is the author of “Cave Dreams” a novel available on

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