Is that purple on the horizon?


This painting expresses my many moods today.  I am angry, sad, perplexed, fearful, anxious yet, somehow, retain my hopefulness. I am, of course, grieving the loss of a tremendous opportunity to acknowledge that inclusiveness is better than exclusiveness. With Ms Clinton’s loss, we have, in the short term, lost that opportunity. For a while, Mr Trump’s supporters will gloat, strut and express their “might” by ignoring the underlying truth of this election: we are a country that is split virtually down the middle and no one has all of the answers. We will have to endure Mr Trump’s naiveté and short-attention span. Our blood pressure will rise when the inevitable tensions arise. We may even get nauseous when he speaks from the Oval Office.

While it appears like Ms Clinton won the popular vote by a slim majority, she, of course, lost the electoral college. Had it been the other way around, the republicans would, naturally, have yelled that the people’s voice was not heard and claim the election was rigged. Either way, each side looks for some validation of their position. Each side will search the tea leaves for answers and validations.

That is only natural as we search for answers and some kind of mental equilibrium.

For now, there will be no red + blue = purple. The color purple contains both the energy of red and the calming nature of blue. Historically it represents an uplifting spirit; is calming and encourages creativity.

  • In Thailand, purple is worn by a widow mourning her husband’s death.
  • The purple in the U.S. military Purple Heart award represents courage. The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the United States armed forces who have been wounded in action.
  • In Tibet, amethyst is considered to be sacred to Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from it.
  • A man with the rank of Roman Emperor was referred to as “The Purple” — a name that came from the color of the robe he wore.
  • In Japan, the color purple signifies wealth and position.
  • Purple was the royal color of the Caesars.
  • In pysanky, the traditional Ukrainian form of egg dying, purple speaks of fasting, faith, patience, and trust.
  • Purple denotes virtue and faith in Egypt.
  • In Tudor Britain, violet was the color of mourning, as well as the color of religious fervor.
  • Traditionally, in Iran, purple is a color of what is to come. A sun or moon that looks purple during an eclipse is an omen of bloodshed within the year.
  • After reading this blog, I got this note from my dear friend, Chrissie Clark in England:
    Violet was used as the a colour in suffragette jewellery.   The G and W and V of Give Women Votes were represented by emeralds, pearls and amethysts (G green for hope, W white for purity, and V violet for dignity).   I’ve always thought of the suffragette pieces as very beautiful – but realise they could only be worn – as a discreet code – by the more well-to-do supporters.

Such a powerful color and one that also, in these trouble times, could represent the blending of the best of the Republicans and the Democrats. For there to be a color purple in our future, both sides will have to let go of many sacred things.

The faction of the republican party that believes in exclusion, religion as a weapon, misogyny, guns-solving-everthing, racism and hate will have to learn that these are not truly helpful or healing motives. They destroy lives. These are not Christian values. They will have to let go of the nostalgic pre-civil war times.

The faction of the democrats that believes they have the answers to all problems, including economic ones, will have to learn from their fiscally conservative partners that capitalism can be productive. Democrats who ignored the desperate plight of many rural white people (in the heart of the bible belt where I grew up and know very well) will have to open up their minds and hearts to listen and learn. The rise of robots, global economy and the consolidation of wealth have left these folks angry, fearful and desperate for a savior—one they found in Mr Trump.

It remains to be seen if the future purple will be a reddish or bluish purple.

My hope is that it will be an uplifting and calming equal blend of red and blue.  Purple was the color of the first dye made by man. It was called “Mauveine” and was made out of coal tar. Beauty came from coal. The recipe was discovered by William Henry Perkin in 1856. Leonardo da Vinci believed that the power of meditation increases ten times when done in a purple light, as in the purple light of stained glass. Let’s meditate and search for a way to make a new PURPLE—one that represents all of us. Maybe someday we can find a beautiful color purple from our simmering coals of red and blue hate.

Credits: Sensational Color

About Jeffrey Scherer

artist.father.grandfather.leftist.walker.retired architect


One thought on “Is that purple on the horizon?

  1. This post feels like a deep breath and I appreciate it. I’ve often wondered what would happen if – even for a week – the media entirely stopped using the words “democrat” and “republican”. I suspect a blending into purple would happen more rapidly than we imagine.

    Posted by Valerie Garrett | November 11, 2016, 14:37
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