From Tracie: I Fought With A Color

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I Fought With A Color

I take pictures of yellow joyful things. I tweet them, blog them, and collect them with my friends. Kind of like slap bracelets....except my parents don't ruin my fun by telling me they are silly and too expensive.

We put our pictures together to form the Yellow Joy Machine. Anyone who has been reading this blog has heard all about it, but today I'm going to tell you a different side of the story, the secret side.

The story of Tracie and Yellow.....

My mother’s favorite flowers are yellow roses.  She had them in her wedding bouquet when she married my father.  A friend of hers dried some of those yellow roses and put them in a glass box.  That box sat in our living room for my whole life.  I don’t know if you have ever seen yellow roses that have been dried, but they always end up looking more brown than yellow.  They looked dead.

I used to sit in the living room and stare at those flowers and think how appropriate it was that they were displayed there in all their yellowish-brown deadness…just like my parent’s marriage, and their life together.  I grew to hate yellow roses.  Even beautiful alive ones began to look like death to me.

As time went by, I began to feel that way about all yellow things.  In my mind, I would see something yellow, especially something that should be beautiful and alive like a flower, and I would think of it like this...Yellow is what happens when all the purity and beauty of white dies. (dramatic much?)

Yellow shirts make my teeth look yellow.  Yet one more assault against me from this color.

I always thought that yellow crayons were too light of a color to really come out right on paper.

As a child I was sure that yellow had it out for me.  It was a scheming, plotting, hateful little color of death.  I even used to own this cassette tape that I bought out of a dollar bin in a store just because it had a song on it called “I Don’t Like Yellow” Really. I was fighting a battle with a color. Obviously it wasn't able to fight back, but that never stopped me. 

So, the Yellow Joy Machine.  Are you feeling confused?  How does this woman who is carrying on her own personal war with yellow for so many years get involved in something like this? One day on twitter Kim, Megan, and I were tweeting about collecting things that make us happy. Putting them together to form an ultimate joy machine......and somehow it became yellow. Strangely enough, I liked the sound of that. (It made me think of the yellow submarine.  I love the Beatles.)  That conversation expanded and we started looking for yellow things to take pictures of and tweet.

When I took my first picture and told my husband what I was doing he was a little shocked. “Yellow? You hate yellow!” this is a man who has heard my rant about yellow on more than one occasion.

I told him, "I know, but I think that my war might turn into negotiations.  Me and yellow, we’re going to talk."

Over the months, yellow and I have done more than talk.  I would say that our negotiations went well and when yellow needed a home I offered to take her in.  I can now spot yellow joy from across a crowded room.  I look for yellow everyday.  Even Thomas and Katarina are on the lookout for a bit of yellow to brighten up their day.

Through the peace negotiations with yellow, I learned something.  Sometimes your negative feelings have nothing to do with the color, or thing, or person that you have been blaming them on, or associating them with for many years.  Making an intention to start those negotiations with yellow opened up a whole new world of color and joy for me.

Now when I look at this yellow rose, instead of fighting with it, I can appreciate the freshness of life and the joy that it contains.


  1. Wow! I love this blog, Tracie. This is proof that all it takes is a little joy to change our perspective completely. I am so glad to be on a yellow journey with you!

  2. How beautiful.. and appropriate.. I have some HUGE sunflowers that have sprung up in an unused section of our garden that seem to thrive despite the weeds around them trying to hold them bck

  3. I love yellow!

    when I was asking one of my friends to be a bridesmaid for my wedding, she said "of course, just don't make me wear something terrible - like YELLOW"

    well, the bridesmaids dresses WERE yellow -- and they looked awesome!

    glad you are learning to appreciate yellow again!

  4. I love yellow! I think it's such a happy color.

  5. For many years, I hated green--with a passion. Then one day it spoke to me and said you REALLY do like me. And for some reason, I thought...I really do! I've always loved it. It feels good and right to have my green around me. I love yellow, too. It's sun and warmth and happy and life.

    This is a beautiful post, Tracie!

  6. wow, thats an intense thought process on yellow. I had yellow roses at my wedding, and they are dried and stored in a frame, but not brown. not sure ill ever look at them the same

    visitng you from SITS!

  7. Love this post...cheers for yellow!

    Stop by my blog, “Inspire!” for inspirational messages!

  8. Those are beautiful!!

    Happy comment weekend!

  9. Awww Tracie! That was really beautiful! Like you! :)

  10. You write very well. Obviously you were associating the color yellow with negative things. It is good to embrace change.

    Visiting you from the Comment Club.

  11. Tracie - I loved this post - it was moving and really deep. A wonderful lesson in learning to embrace even the parts of us we don't like. Incidentally, I meant to mention yesterday that I look at the Yellow Joy Machine pictures - they're beautiful...wanted to pinch one for my blog - but then saw the 'rules' :)
    I'm so very glad I connected with you (and your yellow)....Will be back for more! :)

  12. It's beautiful, Now,I'm follow you.

  13. Hi there.
    I love your yellow themes post!
    Stopping by from Friday-Follow to thank you for signing up for the weekend comment club.
    Have a great day!

  14. My mother hates yellow too! I never knew why, but your post has given me some possible answers. :)

    Stopping by from Weekend Comment Club. Have a great week!


  15. I love this post, and that flower is gorgeous...even though it is yellow!

  16. Love the post! You have given me a new way of looking at yellow! Visiting from Blog Frog!

  17. I like yellow, and I love your photos here. Pink is my can't-stand-it-color. It's adorable in my children's clothing, but I cannot stand it in home decor or my own closet.

  18. Tracie,
    Congrats on making peace with the color yellow -- I think that it is supposed to symbolize friendship.

    You are so right though, how we choose something out of a bad time to symbolize our hurt or anger. Sometimes, it is a person, a smell, or sometimes it is yellow.

    Thanks so much for dropping by my place. I am a new follower!

  19. Yellow is the most cheerful color! it totally suits ya!
    I love yellow roses too!

  20. Yellow is sunshine in our world! Bright and happy and joyful and full of smiles (smiley faces are always yellow!). Yellow suits you, dear.

    New follower. :D

  21. Wow, Tracie. This is fantastic. I hope you'll link it up on Friday night (for SS). This is really impressive; your attitude is inspiring. I'm happy for you :)

  22. Popped in from Lady bloggers! Yellow is such a cheerful, happy color!

  23. I think I understand where you are coming from. For me it was music.

    There were a few bands, a few songs that were favorites of my abuser. For years whenever I heard those songs I thought of him. It ruined those songs for me.

    It has only been in the last few years, as I've been actively working on my healing, that I realized I was still giving him the power by avoiding those songs. Turns out I love those songs. And I have reclaimed them for myself. They are part of my Power Songs collection.

    Congratulations on reclaiming yellow. It is more than a happy color for you; it's a power color.

  24. Yay! to Yellow! I paint my walls yellow, in various shades and intensities. Thanks for writing about a color!

  25. First time here. Love this idea!

  26. Yellow is a bright, happy color. Glad you were able to overcome your negative feelings associated with it.

    Stopping by from Saturday Samplings. (My blog is yellow, come and see!)