Rubbery blue chunk

On site I found this lump of rubbery blue stuff, which could be old play-dough but doesn’t have that giveaway smell. I immediately thought it human-made – it’s an unnaturally electric blue. But is the colour blue unnatural?

Ancient cultures famously had no word for blue; it is not found in ancient Greek, Hebrew, Chinese or Sanskrit. Homer in The Odyssey, describes the sea as wine-dark, and the sky as bronze – never blue. So the question is, do we see something if we have no words for it? Our world might appear to every one of us differently – each of our realities a parallel experience, reflected by what we perceive through our senses, mediated by the tools for knowledge, including words or concepts like ‘blue’. Astronomer Carl Sagan, on seeing earth from space, said,

‘. . . our tiny world ... underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.’

Our planet is mostly water, it is the substance that defines and sustains us living things. This view of everything that exits on the planet being united in blueness brings perspective. It reminds me to get less caught up in the little annoyances and selfish moments of my day.