Color in One Beautiful Life

I lost a stunning soul-mate friend today. 

As I ponder her life and our friendship, I see both through the spectrum of Color.

Barbara was a Winter.

One night, a few years ago, she and I stayed up late into the night and talked about Color. She said she did not give much thought or care to her clothing. She thought the idea of having one’s Colors done was superficial.

I told her about the deep resonance we each uniquely share with Nature. I told her it wasn’t so much about the “image” as much as it was about the authentic; that Color supports and reflects the special qualities already present in a person…

I remember she wept during her Color appointment. She told me afterwards that she had never, in her entire life, been seen and acknowledged at such a deep level. We typed her a Dynamic Prismatic Winter. And she was that.

Barbara hated shopping. She hated even looking at herself in the mirror. Soon after her Color appointment, she had a nighttime dream. In the dream, she entered a department store in a wheelchair. A saleswoman brought a blouse to her and at first she felt great fear – but then her arms started to move as if in a dance. Looking at the blouse, she stood up from her wheelchair and began to dance all around the store, in joy. And so, it was a dream that convinced her to go shopping with me.

A week later, in the Nordstrom dressing room, Barbara was a complete curmudgeon. She was as cranky and close-minded as any client I’ve ever had. Her first response to every top, skirt or pair of pants I brought in was, “NO.”

I told her, “This is just your fear talking. Do you think we should allow your fear to make all your clothing decisions?”

She begrudgingly tried on some clothes. A silver and white Eileen Fisher sweater. A smart pair of sleek, black cigarette pants. A smooth, Black Violet Vince silk blouse. With these clothes on,  I watched her willingness dawn. 

Winter Colors, Winter Palette

It was my great pleasure to feel her icy hardness begin to melt. She could see how the Color & Line of Design in each chosen item really supported her. It was just clothes – but they were the right clothes, pieces that expressed her Essence and flattered her body. 

She hadn’t lost any of her extra weight, or grown several inches taller, or altered her narrow shoulders and wide hips. But she did something better: she allowed herself to see her true beauty. She said she could feel the Color & Line Harmony in her nervous system. It made her happy and satisfied in a way she did not remember ever feeling… I watched as she ran her fingertips down the quiet lines of a striking black jacket. She took in a deep breath and loved what she saw: herself.

Dynamic Winter, Winter Palette, Color Analysis

My dear friend (who had been the Ice Queen of Resistance) was so delighted with her new look that she began to sway back and forth to the dressing room music. She twirled and whirled, a smooth Winter girl in a rhythm all her own. I jumped up from my chair and we did the Dressing Room Jig, named and known for many delightful shopping trips to come.

We built Barbara a beautiful wardrobe. It was not large, but it was powerful. She wore all of it.

The momentum of Color had taken hold. She purchased a beautiful Deep Royal Purple chair from which to teach her workshops. She painted a Peacock Blue-Green wall in her living room and a Black Orchid wall in her office.

In the last month of her life, Barbara craved white. We had many “emergency” online shopping sessions in search of white sheets, tanks and cashmere wraps in pure white. Not Ivory, not Cream, not Pearl. For her, it had to be pure Snow White.

Winter Colors, Winter Palette, Winter Clothes, Color Analysis, Barbara Kaufman

It was a beautiful thing to watch my Winter friend move into Pure White. She was very weak, and her craving for it was not an intellectual or aesthetic one. My intuition told me that her longing for the whitest white served as both a visceral and Spiritual preparation for her transition. Just a couple weeks later, Barbara expanded peacefully into the Crystal White Mystery.

Till we meet again, my friend.

4 thoughts on “Color in One Beautiful Life

  1. Jan

    Beautiful evocation of B and her stubbornness as well as her innate capacity to connect with what is deeply authentic. Thank you, Cathy.

  2. Denise

    Condolences on the loss of your soul friend. And congratulations on being her way shower into color and expression. She is beaming pure white!


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