Paint Colors: Deep Ocean & Herb Garden


We paint the basement walls blue,

the floor green.  It is still a basement,

still dark and grotty, dust falling

from the rafters, from the passage

of people overhead.  I feel silly, but

take comfort when a contractor

stopping by compliments me – he’s

seen a lot of basements, after all;

he should know.  We are underground

with the treadmill, the weight bench;

this is not yoga on a beach, or in a forest,

but the colors are reminiscent.  In Chicago,

with two small kids and a job, there isn’t

much time for yoga on the beach, even

when it’s warm enough.  My theory is

that beauty makes it better.  It is almost

everything.  Your children, your partner,

your home in winter when the walls

are pressing in, are all easier to tolerate

when you find them beautiful.  There’s not

much you can do about your children,

your partner (their appearance) beyond

insisting on baths and the brushing of teeth.

But paint can almost make an ocean, a forest,

and bright blue laces can make you want to run.