Toni Morrison’s first novel, The Bluest Eye, portrays the African American protagonist Pecola’s wish to be white with blue eyes, after a lifetime of struggle with racism, abuse, and poverty. Don’t we all wish for something we can’t have? something that seems great, but isn’t the best for us? Growing up with a divorced mother who, because of sporadic work, always struggled to pay the bills, I often yearned for material wealth, as if that would take away her illness, or ensure that we’d never again be hungry or in need. But what riches there are in nature, even in the heart of the city! Such power they have, to deeply soothe a troubled heart.
Thinking of the Verve song, “Blue,” as I tumble down the slide at the bottom of the garden, I laugh at where the stream of consciousness takes us. B. doesn’t care for the band or the song, says he doesn’t look for beauty in music but rather challenge: to be taken somewhere else, somewhere completely unexpected.