23. The Colour of Monkey (09/2009)
Somewhere over the restricted rainbow notion of divided white light is a palate of visual splendour beyond our most psychedelic imaginings. Variations in texture, sheen, shape, volume, temperature, mood and motive influence the tints and shades of hues to peruse. Every living thing responds to colour because life depends on it. Nothing is plain when it contains jumbled spectrum remains, intertwined with inaccessible dimensions.
Blue sky is a lie and must die at night when the light drains the heavens, leavens the void, and takes and leaves a waking stimulus. Diurnal rhythms triggered at dawn with a yawn and birdsong belong to the day in a way clearly for everything to be seen. We do know all humans don’t interpret colours in the same manner and even if most do, individuals experience the effect differently. What animals see is not a complete mystery because their other senses also work in the zones of our own: only the detail must be phenomenal! Fish and birds have a more complex colour vision than humans, and the rest we can only surmise. Animals hear things we hear, and more that we don’t, they smell odours that bypass our olfactory system, they feel sensations invisible to us, and taste indescribable variations. But the world animals see can only be dreamt by deduction as hallucinatory by our meagre standards. Not forgetting those other senses that enable chickens to see into the future, cats to predict earthquakes, and elephants to flee the tsunami long before they set eyes on the tide.
Bees swarm for flowers of magenta and gold as manifestations unfold in ultraviolet ways invisible rays to man. Their multiple arthropod vision of buttercups and daisies sends them buzzing with enthusiasm. For the bee colony life is literally a bed of roses. Most pollination depends on bees and without them we would die. No wonder they’ve been blessed with the ultimate protective weapon.
Sex red read sex red, unless you’re a queen that responds to green eyes before thighs, and sighs when the ginger tom glances her way. Every female virgin vervet monkey only has eyes for baby blue, and not just make-up right, but true scrotal delight. Parading peacocks elevate preening to a dazzling state of iridescent allure purely for the pearls. And when those ostrich pegs glow cerise, no peace. The bishop bird turns orange in springtime not just to decorate bulrushes.
Bull rushes the red rag full of rage and torment or is it the movement? A flash eye white gives fright and flight, and surrenders the fight. The black sheep is born to be ostracised; and worse, the curse of the pink dolphin. A mould is more than shape or attitude.
The subtlety of camouflage exists by process of elimination; there are no white lions. Pass the buck in the grass, a snake in the looking glass, the moth on the bark, the lark or the lizard exquisitely blended, defended by revelation of light. Black night is day for the owl and the pussycat guided elegantly in that we only know as darkness, dominated by fear of what we cannot see: fear of using our imagination in admiration for the wealth of experience in the lives of others.