I looked up the origin of the phrase “true blue.” Some say it refers to the endless blue sky above us, the blue yonder. Others suggest that it might have had something to do with the purity of noble lineage, as in “blue blood.” Most likely, the phrase was first associated with a particular dye-making technique in Coventry, England, in the Middle Ages. Coventry Blue was the best — it didn’t run or fade like other blue dyes of the period — it lasted, it remained true.
It seems apt that “blue,” now, can also mean “sad.” Because being true to our own feelings, the completeness of our emotional landscape, almost always means acknowledging some measure of sadness, nostalgia, and heartache…
While the colors of grief and loss with time do become less sharp — they fade with wear — the truth is, sadness endures. And while our feelings do tend to become more familiar and even comfortable the longer we wear them, the blues can still pop with renewed intensity from time to time, around the holidays especially.
It’s so important to remember that this sadness doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong.
It’s okay to be blue, to mourn, to feel moody and melancholy and maybe even a little miserable. It’s okay to remember the past, and look back with sweet sorrow, love, and longing. It is always okay for us to honor our feelings, whatever they are.
It’s also perfectly fine to be confusingly happy at the same time. We get to be complex. Honestly, this kind of contradictory mixed bag of emotions is probably the most authentic expression for most of us most of the time.
Sure, the season calls for the donning now of our gay apparel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get our blues on as well. Let’s add those bluesy notes to the “fa la la la la,” and truly share the fullness of our hearts.
This weekend, we hold a special place for our ambivalent, convoluted wholeness during the holiday season — happy and sad, in love and loss, with tenderness towards ourselves and each other through it all.
Even when I’m blue, it is a joy to be with you, friends. And I can feel how deeply connected we are, even when it isn’t possible to gather together in person.
Join me and Patty Stephens online (bosquecsl.org or vimeo.com/bosquecsl) for music, message, and ritual. Our new content premieres every Saturday at 6:00 pm, and is available and shareable forever after at your convenience.
© 2020 Drew Groves