Color is visceral

Sometimes as a kid growing up in South Africa, sitting in the back seat of my mom's faded, mint green Volkswagen while we were stopped at a light, I'd glance over to see a purple beetle or worse, a purple VW "combi" rumbling up next to us. Staring out the window at the wall of violet I felt a sick stirring in my stomach. It happened every time, without fail, and only with that one color.

Since I was prone to carsickness at the drop of a hat anyway, I used to look away immediately to avoid feeling like I needed my mom to pull over. But as I got older I became fascinated with the effect of the purple on me. So of course I would look back to make it happen again.

There, see? It makes me feel sick!

I have never seen one of those purple VWs in the US. I don't think they were available here. But every now and then, I'll see a purple that reminds me of them, and I'll get a faint echo of that childhood sensation.

I treasure it. It comes from inside me, a direct, literal gut response to a color.