Grey and gray, both acceptable spellings for that dull colorless color I can't stop writing about this time of year. I've often preferred grey, because "e" looks better in "grey eyes." I've even read that one spelling has a more positive connotation, though I believe it's the usage not the "e."
Painters know gray is made from two complements. The most resplendent red will turn to black when mixed with it's perfect opposite, a verdant green. Lent is like that. We try to beautify our souls; perfect our personalities, and there is seemingly little result. Our inner opposing dialogue turns to gray. Gray to me is the color of evil: friendly, calm, and comforting at first until there is really the question of a hidden, unrecognizable underlay. The foundation I'd love to confront, if I could only find it, and prove whether it were good, bad, or worth considering altogether. I guess I could say, gray is opaque--the color of confusion.
Lent in this part of the hemisphere is often gray. "I'm tired of clouds, rain, snow, and fog..." my daughter summed it up well two days ago. She moped on the couch in despair until I brought out rainy day watercolors: White and yellow wax crayons on paper shone through gray cloudy watercolors no matter how much paint we applied. I hoped to send a subtle message to her, and the universe, that the sun is shining and will shine again--even when we can't see it.
Lent, however, is the time for gray and troubled thoughts. A time of lament even, and especially, over our own imperfections. My favorite writer to quote on these subjects is Abraham Herschel:
"If a man has beheld evil, he may know that is was shown to him in order that he learn his own guilt and repent, for what is shown to him is also within him."
Grey Day 1999 (revised)
hides wintered trees.
Flashes of rust,
that faded green fire,
bleary the window pane.
The glass cools
the war within