“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ”
Take a book featuring a hospital scene and flip to that page. One word that is guaranteed to describe the daunting experience of diagnoses and tests is white. White walls, white halls and white coats…
Hospitals are blanched of colour just as patients and their families are of hope. Their minds are poisoned with misery and the upsetting fact that change in the worst possible way is imminent and unstoppable. They do not want walls of white around them. I know this because when my father was in the hospital, I did not take comfort in them. Although I never asked him how he felt about those walls, I think he must have hated them as much as I did, if not more.
When I was hospitalised as a kid for amoebiasis, my room was as colourful as it could get, butterflies, green fields, the works. Now that I’m older, if I were hospitalised for the same, I’d be stuck in this boring hospital room fit for ‘adults’. I’d like to redefine what it means to be an adult. It means to be human. If asked, I would still want a room that’s painted with the colours of the wind that Pocahontas sings about because life is full of shades and tints and god forbid, if my last days were to be spent in a single room, I’d want it to be visually loud and reassuring.
I need a rainbow.
Everyone needs a rainbow.
Think about it. Would you want to be surrounded by a blank canvas or a finished masterpiece?
I vote for the latter. In times of sickness, white reflects our helplessness. Sap green, teal, violet and a plethora of others don’t.
White walls are blank spaces. They make you feel like something is missing and we don’t need to be reminded of that. We need to be reminded of what is good in life and that even if we’ve lost someone, some of those good things are still left to be appreciated. And if you’re leaving this world, you need to know it was good and that you made your mark because…
You’re a colour in that rainbow. A shade no one else can replace in their palette. Because I believe when we are born we are a blank canvas and all our life experiences and the people we meet, hate and love more than anything in the world create a masterpiece that is you.
You are colour to each person. Perhaps yellow to a friend. Blue to an enemy. Purple to your mother. Orange to your father. Red to your sibling.
You’re a colour. You’re anything but white.
But sadly those hospital walls are…
And I think that needs to change.