We’re all either primate or completely commercialized.

Ok, some of you may have heard about the recent study about red making women appear sexier to men.  Duh.  I mean, did we really need a study to prove this?  Setting aside the fact that I already appear plenty sexy enough, thank you, I feel like most of us are aware that a sexy red dress is just that – sexy.

What was even more amazing were the theories posited by the researchers as to why this red color might trigger ‘the seixer’ response in men’s brains.  One theory posed by the lead researcher is societal conditioning in the form of “hearts and Valentine’s Day and lingerie and things like that, takes on a sexy meaning.”  But more primitive roots were also sited, specifically the red rumps of certain female primates during ovulation to attract males.  I don’t know about you males today, but I find the idea of a red rump as ‘sexy’ slightly disturbing.

In one sense, I think the researchers were on the right track – specifically with the mention of ‘hearts’.  In another, I think any Medieval whore (or one from the Classic period or earlier, for that matter) could shed more light on the matter.  It’s all about the blood.  Painted lips and rouged cheeks were there for a reason – a marker of a more rapidly beating, excited heart.  Passion, for most of us, comes with the flare of lust building between two people.  The ‘first flush’ of love is called that for a reason, and it usually has to do with quickening pulses and a ruddier complexion.  That’s the red I’d be concerned about.

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Sunlight makes things better

I have recently made a commitment to myself to try and observe more of the world around me on a daily basis. It’s true, that I live in an old city, so there’s built-up infrastructure and concrete everywhere, but even the ugliest part of city life can have redeeming qualities.

Today for me it was the snow remainder. I don’t mean the still-white patches that were glowing in the sun, or the gentle drip of the melting eaves of houses. I mean the gross stuff that’s been churned up from the streets liberally coated and mixed with motor oil. It’s the kind of big messy piles that you really hope you don’t even have to walk across for fear of contamination. When the sun hits them just right, the icy surface places refract like crystals, like strange geodes embedded in a duller, more sullen rock matrix.

It made me think about the sun in general – how long-ago peoples, my ancestors, worshiped its return in spring, dancing or singing or otherwise recalling it to life and vigor. It reminds me of the way grass looks greener in the afternoon. It reminds me if I want to paint color, I should do it in the afternoon, when the angle of the light reveals the world at it’s richest. I don’t know the principles of why this is true. Like the flintknappers of the past, I don’t know the physics of the thing, I just know that if you hit the rock here, it will carry the force through to there, splitting and cracking along a certain plane of force.

When I wake up in the morning now, it’s still to a vague dawn light. It makes me want to crawl back under the covers again. But by the time I’ve gotten ready and stepped outside to walk to the bus stop, the sun is up and smiling. It puts a little jig in my step.