Rod Stryker is a poet who hosted the first poetry reading I was ever a part of in the Austin International Poetry Festival about ten years ago. I have seen him over the years at readings, bought one of his books of poetry, and participated in a class he led as part of the festival a few years back. He has his own group down in San Antonio called Sun Poets. We’ve recently become Facebook friends and I noticed a comment he made about having no trouble entering Canada as a person with brown skin. I commented back that I never noticed that he has brown skin, …not that it matters, I added, saying he is a great poet and that is all that mattered.
Then I wondered what color people saw when they looked at me. Fair hair color and light skin tones were my physical heritage, but I have chosen the name, murasakisan, as part of my e-mail address and a photo in which my face is purple for my Facebook profile. The word murasaki means purple and I gleaned an affinity for the word after trudging through the thousand page tome, The Tale of Genji, when I was in junior college in California. That book was written by Lady Murasaki long before women were considered viable authors.
With a little more thought I considered deep blue purple with turquoise and splashes of chartreuse, and definitely some orange – not just any orange, but the intense red-orange of Pyracantha berries that dotted the bush aside my house in California. Ah, yes, that would suit me.