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Index card 025 - Blue is my favorite color
Blue: The History of a Color by Michel Pastoureau

This morning I realized the sky from Mexico City has a different blue than the sky in L.A. and a completely different one from the sky in Boston. The blue in the sky varies depending on the amount of particles, water droplets, and ice suspended in the atmosphere. For me, the blue in the sky reflects something different: where I am standing in relation to the world I inhabit. Measuring the sky’s blue has become a map of my memories, a record of my emotions, and a small proof of my permanence on this beautiful planet.

As I said before, my exploration of the color blue started with Bluets by Maggie Nelson, broadened with The Primary Colors, and ended with a fantastic essay by Michel Pastoureau: Blue: The History of a Color. Unlike the other two titles, this is a formal essay, a straightforward journey through the history of the color blue. But how can a color so abundant on our planet (the sky, the sea, cornflowers, etc.) have its own history? I learned through this book that even the word “blue” was absent from many languages, including Greek or Ethrusc, pillars of western languages. Many “blues” are fake, an optical illusion caused by the refraction of the light on specific surfaces that capture the exact wavelength of the light that creates a kind of blue. Primitive civilizations lacked blue dyes or blue paint. Blue is actually something new and, ironically, ancient. Blue is a complex color, unlike this beautiful book, which is somewhat of all you need to know about blue.

Thank you for joining me in this brief exploration of color and space. Enjoy this beautiful essay under one of the many blue skies.

︎︎ Read Blue: The History of a Color

A book can also exist as an autonomous and self-sufficient form, including perhaps a text that emphasizes that form, a text that is an organic part of that form: here begins the new art of making books. (Ulises Carrion)

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