“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
The rainbow has always been a symbol of hope, to me as to so many others. It has also come to celebrate diversity, and the beautiful wealth of difference that exists in love: of others and of our truest selves. During the Covid19 pandemic this seemingly magical but natural phenomenon has come to stand for humanity’s shared dream: a better, safer, kinder future ‘on the other side’.
In the classic film The Wizard of Oz the song Somewhere over the Rainbow tells of an imaginary place, far from the land where the central character finds herself at the beginning of the story. In reality the young actor singing the song was struggling with her own mental demons. I hope as so many do that the colourful, kind, accepting alternative reality that her character discovered in sleep, where she realised that everything she really cared about and needed was simple and had been right in front of her all along, will win out for all of us after the cyclone of this pandemic eventually ends.
I have always loved rainbows, and after my diagnosis they became even more important to me. When they appeared in the sky I would feel a sense of hope. Sometimes I even saw them as warning signs, telling me that my mind was becoming too colourful again. They helped me to stay vigilant. Most of all, they are the connection between sunshine and rain, the thing that lives between those two and shows that beauty can exist in extremes, and in fact that they are sometimes needed to create it.
As soon as I started to imagine that colour could connect and give some semblance of order to my states of mind, my Rainbow Mind system gradually started to fall into place. My rosy colours are the central line between the extreme storms that threaten to drown me and the fires that burn. Just like a real rainbow, the end never appears. The dream that I dare to dream is not to find the end, but to stay in the middle, well balanced. Good health is my blue sky.
I feel solidarity with the LGBTQI community, and as though I have had to repeatedly come out about my colourful mind. It’s always tough to do that with new people, but the more I do, and the more educated society becomes, the easier it is.
Just like the weather, all human beings are unpredictable. It’s impossible to know exactly how a person will behave in any given situation. We are all experiencing our own unique version of life, and battling demons that may be invisible to those around us. Just like the planet, the less naturally we are forced to live, the sicker we become.
So much of the over the rainbow future that I imagine when I look at the better world we could create post Covid 19 would benefit our personal wellbeing as well as that of the planet. The ability to work more flexibly and travel for our jobs less, which would lower carbon emissions as well as stress levels, the desire and permission to live more slowly & simply, and on and on.
A human being who is understood and accepted by themselves and by those around them is a more empowered human being. Living a lifestyle that keeps me healthy helps me to give more of myself to others, and have the headspace to care about the planet too. I feel more worthy of love and I have reasons to live that I can actually engage with. It’s the opposite to a vicious circle: it’s a kind, gentle, colourful one. I hope to help you learn to navigate it along with me.