Oz is sipping his coffee and watching the sun rise in the east. In the matter of a few minutes, the color of the sky, first inky black turns to crimson red, then orange and yellow and blue.
Oz was thinking of gray, the color the sky was all of yesterday. Then, it was, that Oz chanced to come across a quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from Faust: First Part.
“All theory is gray, my friend. But forever green is the tree of life.”
Goethe was German and wrote the two lines as one:
“Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie und grün des Lebens goldner Baum.”
Faust 1, Studierzimmer. (Mephistopheles)
Language and grammar, and the human capacity for understanding restrict our ability to experience thoughts and images. Alas, it is what it is, it is what it seems, and therefore “gray” as Goethe remarks.
Weeks earlier, Oz came across an obscure piece of writing about the weather, gray skies, and how we perceive the same day differently. It was written in 1906. Little can be found about the author, Susan Hanna, other than that she was business manager of the magazine, The Mount Holyoke. One must assume the magazine is associated with the college Mount Holyoke in South Hadley, Massachusetts, the oldest of the Seven Sisters, the female counter part to the Ivy League schools.
The world is the “same old place” my dear friend and here are Susan’s thoughts:
“Yesterday was dark and cold and dreary. The sky was gray, the snow was white; the trees black against the gray and white. The wind came around the corners with an angry cry, and whipped the dry bushes, and swept the snow across the path. The world was angry, it knew not why. It was tired of the ceaseless tossing and motion; tired of being the same old world forever.
Today is different. There is the same white snow, the same sky, and the same trees. But today is not yesterday; for the wind swirls the snow in a circling dance; it draws the bushes and twigs out from their hiding places. It bends the trees in rollicking laughter at the very joy of living, – of being the same old world, in the same old way.
Today is not yesterday, but why is today, today?”
Today the sun rises in the east to chase the gray away. The sky at night was inky black. At morn it turn to crimson red, then orange and yellow, now blue.