There were two corner offices at the small radio station in Wayne, Nebraska. The owner/manager occupied the southwest office and I was assigned the northwest room. Shortly after being given the office, the boss bought paint at a clearance sale. I could choose between a blue-grey, a pastel blue, or orange. I chose orange because it’s my favorite color. Fire orange was also a chic color for the time period–the 1970s.
For a few days, after my regular shift, I went about painting the walls bright orange. When the chore was finished, the little office felt energized. I felt more creative in my jack-of-all-trades position at KTCH AM and FM.
In the mornings, I wrote and typed onto mimeograph stencils the daily news-sheet that was distributed to businesses in town. My job was also as co-copy-writer for commercials, station promotions, and public service announcements. In spare moments, I reviewed and chose some of the music for the two stations that were headquartered in the building. Of course, my main job was to be the afternoon DJ on the AM station.
Although the orange colored walls were too intense for most of the staff, they were perfect for the boss and me. Whenever I was on the air, the boss gravitated to my office in order to finish his own tasks. He chose to keep his own walls pastel blue because he needed his space to be calm and welcoming to clients and employees.
Even though four decades have elapsed between the 1970s and now, I still love the intensity of orange, albeit in smaller portions when decorating.
There’s probably an arcane psychological reason why I love intense, brilliant colors. I’m guessing that the warmth of orange is the counterpoint of my cool, laid back personality. I need bright orange to fire me up in order to get work done.
The use of orange in my life was put on brief hiatus one year while I suffered through several bouts of anxiety. That was when I experimented with muted tones and shades of white and grey. It was the year I chose my white car with its grey interior.
White paint on a car’s body is akin to camouflage. There are millions of white cars on the streets and highways, so having a white car is a good way to blend in and avoid undue attention from the cops. I’ve had two bright red cars. Even though I always drove carefully and observed speed limits, it seemed like the police and highway patrol observed and followed behind those red cars far more often than they do with the white car. So, my experience appears to verify that bright red cars are cop magnets.
Even as an older person, I enjoy pushing the envelope, mainly the intensity of mental challenges. Life is not just about completing physical tasks and asserting power. Some of the most rewarding parts of life are when a lot of concentrated mind-power is necessary. When healthy, intense focus is used as a tool, work and play are most fulfilling. Age has only shifted the focus of my life from career to other aspects of living. There remains some measure of devotion, dedication, seriousness, and intensity most days.
I’ve been fortunate to have befriended people who are so special in extraordinary ways. They are talented in their own particular chosen fields of interest. They keep evolving and find ways to reinvent themselves. This evolution not only keeps them relevant, the act of reinvention enables a better life for themselves and those around them. I’m glad to know these intense people.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the late Indian spiritual teacher, Sri Chinmoy. “All around us is the cosmic game, the cosmic play. The Universe is full of joy, inner and outer. When realisation takes place, we have to feel the necessity of manifesting this constant delight in our heart. The delight glows, but does not burn. It has tremendous intensity, but it is all softness and absolutely sweet-flowing nectar.”