Gray Zone

"What makes gray a neutral color? Is it something physiological, or logical?"
"Grayness is situated between two extremes (black and white)"

--Wittgenstein


my gray zone
is starting to include poetry


here white is not absolute white
black is not absolute black
the edges of these non-colors
adjoin


Wittgenstein's question is answered by Kêpiñski


The world of depression is a monochromatic world
dominated by grayness or total darkness



in the darkness of depression many things look
differently than in normal light



black and white flowers
grew only in Norwid's poetry
Mickiewicz and Sowacki
were colorists


the world we live in
reels with colors
but I don't live in that world
I was only impolitely awakened
can one wake someone politely


I see
in green grass
a ginger cat
hunting a gray mouse


the artist Get
tells me he cannot see colors


he distinguishes them by the labels
on the tubes and tins


he reads and knows that this is
yellow red blue


but his palette is gray


he sees a gray cat
in gray grass
hunting a gray mouse


he has impaired vision
(he doesn't suffer from depression)
maybe he's pretending
to provoke his students
and enliven our discussion


we go on talking about Bemerkugen über
die Farben

W. talks of a red circle
a red square a green circle


I say to G. it would seem
that the square is merely filled
with red or green
the square is square
not red or green
according to Lichtenberg few
people have ever seen pure white


drawing may be the purest
form of art
drawing is filled
with pure emptiness


thus a drawing
is by its nature
closer to the absolute
than a Renoir painting


the German says
weiße rose and rote rose
for one who doesn't know German
a rose
is neither rote nor weiße
it's just a rose
but someone else has never heard the word
rose and what he holds in his hand
is a flower or a pipe


From: Szara Strefa [Gray Zone], Wydawnictwo Dolnoílskie, 2002