when i was little (and by little i mean about two years of age) i was told that the sun was red. so in my drawings i’d always use the red crayon to depict my circular sun. this happened until i was five, after i moved to australia.
i don’t remember much about moving there at first, only the vivid images of my preschool and a grocery trolley; memories i can’t place on any significant moment.
when i was five i started kindergarden. some time during that year, i sat down and reached for the red crayon and drew my sun. another little girl asked me why i drew a red spot, and even though my english wasn’t very good, i was able to tell her that it was the sun. i mean, i had placed it high in the sky, how stupid could she be?
she laughed at me and told me the sun was yellow. i was confused, but i gradually came to realise that everyone drew yellow suns, so to fit in i copied them. and from then on, i have never given a second thought to drawing a yellow sun. until now.
when i saw the sunset the other day, this memory came crashing into my mind. i remembered how confused i was, because my mother had told me the sun was red, but it wasn’t red because everyone knew the sun was yellow.
but the sun is red. it’s not some kind of crazy communist conspiracy that tells us the sun is red. here, you can look straight at the sun at sunset on a clear day, and when i looked straight at that sun, i saw that it was red. it’s a bright red circular stain in the sky that doesn’t even look like a sun if you’ve been somewhere the rays will hurt your eyes. but the pollution here took care of that. it looks like you could almost wipe it off because it has so little power to stay up there; so little strength to hang in the sky and be our source of light.
so what colour is the sun? is its true colour the one we see when there is no pollution muddling our view and its intensity could blind us, or is it more real when it’s weaker and more unstable, and allows our eyes to meet it and linger?
because i’m confused.