Then I See Red

English: Mother with child; Oil on canvasC...
English: Mother with child; Oil on canvasCategory:technique with mounted parameter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Purple seems a state of grace. Cloaked in it, the world around you bleeds with creativity and honor. A smile isn’t just a smile, it’s a perspective. I see myself as someone I am. A struggle becomes a path, an enemy, a friend.

Then I see red.

Nothing in between.

Just red.

My goal has always been to remain within purple. But, over the last few years, it’s become very clear to me that red must intrude, must kick purple to the curb and salute a raw instinct to fight.

Mothers know this. They may not feel purple, perhaps they walk with blue or yellow. But, in a swift second, they fill with red when their children are threatened, teased, or hurt.

I know. I’m a mother and a teacher. The inconsistencies shock some and are vulgar to others. I’ve been yelled at by many mothers, and I’ve done a lot of yelling myself. However gentle I try to be, especially with teachers, my manners disintegrate when confronted with problems affecting my children.

Knowing this has changed me even more so when dealing with parents. My purple turns to deep red for the mothers who yell at me. I usually sympathize more than they know.

The angrier the mom, the more I can take a good beating from her, even if she’s completely wrong. The last mother who yelled at me never should have. She was wrong, but I didn’t get mad. I looked her in the eyes and told her to understand that when I spoke to her, I wanted to help her. It didn’t take much. I didn’t even have to tell her I had children too. She simply saw it in my eyes.

By seeing red, by understanding it, I can live in red more comfortably now. I know what it’s there for. It’s a call to action, a desire to protect, a need to be heard.

Red is love, pure, passionate love.

A mother’s love.

Written by Lisa Chesser


Published by Lisa Chesser

I'm a writer, editor, award-winning educator, and marketing professional who hopes to rally everyone around one single mantra: Be brave, smart, and bold. As an educator, I love to remind students to dream in the midst of politics gone mad! Thus, I am also a dreamer.

17 thoughts on “Then I See Red

  1. Wow! what powerful writing, and so poetic! For a moment I wasn’t too sure it was from a book or you, I’m very impressed, The msg is full of wisdom. Red could mean to everyone something else so it becomes personal, it’s not an abstract idea. Thanks


    1. Thank you for the sincere compliment. I really appreciate writers giving me this kind of feedback. You’re right. Before I had children, I felt the power of red, but I feared it instead of embracing it. Now, I value it.


  2. Beautifully written.. Of course red is love, it’s the color of our life’s blood which includes anger, hope, joy and love..I live in the red as well 🙂


      1. And if I can add, strength to that roll. In some cultures babies are swaddled in red to ward off negativity & evil. Red is beautiful !


  3. I love this perspective and relate to it strongly. I have 4 sons (6-14) and I like most mothers am like a lioness when my children are wronged, hurt or treated without consideration. You have harnessed “red” and I wish that more teachers could be as intuitive and understanding. It’s a great skill you have. You’re an inspiration. Jen


  4. You have described this journey so well, I completely related.

    I too understand red. I simply HAD to do a red painting at one point in my life – it was such a strong need. The red reflected me.

    At that point I also NEEDED to wear the opposite colour to the red that I craved – turquoise (green/blue). The turquoise comforted me.

    Before that time, and since, I am more drawn to wear black and greys – including my paintings. (Aussie spelling of ‘grey’)
    Of course we know the assumptions that will be drawn from my current lack of colour choice. 😉


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