Welcome to this week’s edition of Moon Sedai Knows Everything, where I answer questions posed to me by the general public. This week, I’m answering the question “What do you know about Purple?”
Purple is my favorite color: it’s bold, daring and royal. It was at one point restricted to only the Royalty. In the color spectrum, Purple (Violet) is at the wavelength of 380-450 nm. Purple is the color used for the Purple Heart, a medal awarded to American military service members wounded in the line of duty.
But what’s so cool about purple?
First, Purple is the child of blue and red: if the two primary colors got together and had a little baby, purple would be the result.
Blue is the color of loyalty, red the color of passion, blood. Combine it together: there’s purple. That’s why it does not surprise me that we give wounded warriors the Purple Heart. Their blood and loyalty paid the price for our freedom.
There’s more to purple than awards and it’s red/blue parents and use as an award. There’s also purple in Media.
There’s the book called “Harold and the Purple Crayon” where the young boy draws his world with a purple crayon. Believe it or not, I’ve never read this little treasure. It’s on the to-do list.
I’d be remiss on my discussion of purple if I didn’t discuss The Color Purple, the 1982 novel by Alice Walker and adapted into film in 1985. It’s a great film, good book. It has this one quote stuck with me:
I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.
In the film, the quote is from one woman to another, telling her how special she is. But you know what? I don’t want to get all sentimental and sad. The film is a strong story of empowerment, and something I think everyone should watch (or a book everyone should read).
Let’s talk about something else… Hrmm.. I mentioned movies. Let’s talk about another film with Purple in the title: Purple Rain.
The 1984 film and album Purple Rain is arguably Prince’s most famous work. Purple Rain.
Purple Rain- Purple Rain.
There now I’m gonna be singing that song the rest of my day.
And so are you. You’re Welcome.
Have I seen the film? Yeah, once. Did I like it? I really don’t remember. You see, I’ve never been a big fan of Prince. Though his Batman soundtrack was awesome.
Speaking of Batman- there’s the Clown Prince of Comedy, the Joker, who wore purple in his mix of purple and green in his wardrobe.
The Joker wears the purple, perhaps as a symbol of his self-appointed royalty. If there is a kingdom of crime in Gotham, Joker is its king. So he probably wears purple because it is a color of royalty.
But where did it begin?
Maybe it was with the Romans. Julius Caesar, and his direct heir Augustus, emperors of Rome declared that purple was exclusive to the Emperor. In Roman times, the popular shade was a color we now call “Tyrian Purple,” made from sea snails. Later, Emperor Nero declared that the wearing and sale of purple was forbidden, a capital crime. Several emperors later, all the workers who made Imperial Purple worked for the Emperor. Eventually this was eased up and magistrates were allowed to wear togas decorated with purple ribbons.
Which could bring me back to the Purple Heart, but it’s not going to. Because Purple is more than royalty and songs and movies. Purple has many shades: One of which is lavender.
Lavender is a light purple. It has an aroma that can be a little strong: unless you get “used to it,” in which case it can become relaxing.
But also, I thought it was kinda nerdy. Because I saw “Dagoba,” but read Dagobah….like this place:
Which brings me to Star Wars, and the purple of Star Wars: the especially awesome light saber of Master Mace Windu. Allegedly, the light saber was purple so that Samuel L Jackson could find himself on screen during a giant battle.
Which lightsaber belongs to Master Windu?
There’s a rumor that Mr. Jackon’s light saber had that on the hilt. Even if that’s not true, it is in my head cannon now.
There are multiple shades of purple: violet, lavender, mauve, thistle, orchid, psycedelic purple, heliotrope, mulberry, pansy, dark purple… The shades of purple are countless.
Purple can be menacing, dark and scary. Purple can be the color of the most evil creature in the universe.
Now, I should probably showing something positive about Purple.
Purple has been used for awareness ribbons for several things. To name a few:
ADHD, Alzheimers, Domestic Violence, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, International Woman’s Day, Lupus, Migraines, Porphyria, and Religious Tolerance… to name a few.
Before I leave this blog, I want to quote the famous poem, “Warning” by Jenny Joseph.
“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter…”
Of course, I’m already wearing purple. I wear it all the time.
So I’ll opt, instead to re-dye my hair purple. It was purple once, and it will be purple again.
When I am old. Think of it: 75 year old Moon Sedai, rocking the purple hair. Yes, I will rock the purple hair.