Marcela Kogan and Lisa Pimental

Lisa Pimental
Inspiration piece

Surprising Green
By Marcela Kogan

Color forbidden in my all—all that is dark and impenetrable. Grass did not grow in the fields of my childhood.

There was no dawning when I opened my eyes in the morning, no lush green around my feet where I stood still, afraid.

Green was the world out there. I did not care about spring’s blossoming trees and autumn’s shedding leaves, a child who saw only gray and black.

The color green intimidated me. I looked at green and felt nothing. My mind went blank. My muscles tensed. I resisted the color, protecting myself. I looked at green and my heart raced. I wanted to hide, but where?

The sun shone, the flowers bloomed and green was everywhere. But I was in the dark. I could not see the forest for the trees. Each tree, another day done, one more day behind me in the never-ending series of days stricken with fear, horror.

I looked at green through the keyhole. Instead of welcoming color into my life, I was green with envy, vomit rising up my throat.

Green is the color of my father, the color my father took away from me. He took me to parks, and dangled before me a life I could never have. He showed me green in all its glory, but then dragged me back to the dark. I grew to hate the color. Why see it if you couldn’t enjoy it?

The curse of flush green, among the budding flowers, the awakening of spring.

I felt something inside me was dying, a patient with a terminal illness, a disease that escaped medical diagnosis because it killed hope, one dream at a time. How do you diagnose a child dying from dissalusionment, a child who did not know what was happening to her, who felt a stirring of excitement growing inside, unaware that her sex was aroused by the touch of her father’s hand?

I wanted to feel the awakening of the trees, to run through green fields.

One day, I found myself hiking up Mt. Sugarloaf with a man who would later become my husband. I was on a pilgrimage, roaming through the woods, climbing, soaring, rising, planting, my boots on solid ground, each step an announcement, scaling off layers.

I reclaimed the green.

I now run through the forests with my husband, amid plants, flowers, trees, the sun beating through leaves. Both of us carry water bottles, fruits and nuts in our backpacks. I am aware of the beauty that I only glimpsed at during my childhood. I’m one with the trees; the leaves brush my legs, strong and sturdy as I hurry along this new journey, my future path.

When I see green, I still have to adjust my vision, blurred at first, but coming clearly into focus.

This is a story about a strong girl who longed for something more.

This is a story about a girl who turned her world from black, to red, to yellow, to a wide-opened blue sky and finally to the glorious cycle of green.

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