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Spectrum of a Soul

By: chroma

Graphics by: Cassius Klai C. Francisco

Photo by: Kaizer Zeth R. Cabrera

The world drowns in a spectrum of colors.

Colors as bright as the daylight,

catching your attention with their striking hues.

Colors as dark as the far side of the moon,

drawing you in with their promises of mystery.

Even the atomic world is defined by spectra.

How much energy does it take to excite something as minute as an atom?

The answer lies in a band of colors, seen through a spectroscope.

Those strips of color reveal the frequencies an atom emits

once they move from a higher energy state to something lower.

In other words, those colors are what the atom reveals to the world.

In fact, those colors uniquely define each type of atom; they are a fingerprint.

What, then, do we make of the blackened bands, the colors hidden from the world?

Are those colors consumed? Locked within?

What will happen if you take a piece of someone's soul and observe it through the spectroscope?

Will their colors stay constant like they are for atoms,

or will they be ever-changing, often shifting?

Souls are not bound by the laws of physics, are they?

Is anyone willing to test that hypothesis?

Allow me to be my own test subject.

I am but a girl who appreciates the workings of the world

and finds myself awestruck at its beauty.

Come, take a piece of my soul, and observe my colors

as I move through the world, I accrue experience through the years.

"I am just like you, pressured into perfection..."

...said she whom I shall call "Aurum,"

even when I was the one who had more medals,

many of them golden, hanging from my neck.

She, too, was acquainted with medals... so I saw her as a threat.

An exam was left unfinished even by me, believed to be peerless,

and so I was laughed at by some, mocking my lapse

like vipers biting my hand even as I helped them.

All I could hear was static as they reflected my failure back at me.

But she, whom I despised, broke through the noise and enveloped me

in her embrace, whispering that she understood my agony.

Her true compassionate spirit stirred something in me…

Many months later, I would learn what love felt like for the first time.

(Violet is the highest frequency our naked eyes can see. It holds the most energy.

Her kindness shocked me so much that my soul started emitting violet after that.)

"There's no need to apologize for not using your voice."

...said she whose name means "fair" and "white,"

even when her mind is not nearly as pure as that implies.

To be fair to her, neither is my own mind…

(I never thought I’d see denim jackets in a different light.)

One day, I handed her an ink-borne confession…

which would be left unmentioned for three months.

I believed silence to be my friend, but back then,

it left me ill at ease, leaving room for vile voices to whisper in my ears.

But she was one of the few who understood my silence

and never held it against me once I lost my voice.

Her serene eyes and gentle voice stirred something in me…

I would later see that emotions need not always be shared in words.

(Indigo is not a color I frequently see, nor do I hear much of it being spoken of.

It’s as rare as the peace I feel in her presence… but it’s enough for my soul to radiate indigo.)

"We may fight, but through it all, we'll stay together, our love perseveres."

...said they whom I shall call "Faith" and "Fortune,"

as their tale was woven from both.

Both of those were in short supply for me, and still is,

but it appears that the universe has deigned to smile upon them.

Ever curious as I am, I have always wondered

what it felt like to love someone and be loved by them the same way.

Even then, I stayed wary, as every relationship I’d witnessed had always gone south.

I witnessed betrayal and selfishness all around me.

But I saw through them that it didn’t always have to be that way.

Pain is natural, a fact of life… something to overcome.

Their harmony born from struggle stirred something in me…

I would do what I could to prevent my bonds from fading like they did long ago.

(Blue was a troubling color for me, as it heralded melancholy and turbulence.

Now, I welcome it, as it now represents bonds, and I know a part of my soul ripples blue.)

"You fall in love so quickly, but I do not."

...I said to "Faith" and "Fortune,"

whose story I've witnessed almost as soon as it began.

I saw their story as a whirlwind, and when I tried looking at myself,

I saw that there was no way such a thing would make sense to me.

Where many of my peers would flit in and out of dalliances,

I could only fall if something deep was already forged between us.

When I first told “Faith” and “Fortune,” they could not understand,

as their nature was vastly different from my own.

But they would eventually come to understand my heart

and try to see through my eyes, see into my world.

My self-discovery of my heart’s nature stirred something in me…

If it would take a deep bond for me to fall, but it would just be me, I would nurture that bond, anyway.

(Green is perhaps the quintessential color of the natural world.

It follows, then, that realizing more of my own nature will color my soul green.)

"I promise I won't stay away."

...said she whose name evokes the grace of God,

even when I could swear she believes in no god.

Even then, I doubt anyone would dispute me

when I say she shines as bright as the sun.

In a stolen moment away from the flashing lights,

I slipped a letter into her hands for her to read in the aftermath of the night.

I feared that she’d abandon me the moment my feelings shifted,

but she’d assure me the next night that my fears were unfounded in the end.

But I just knew the moment she walked into the hall that night,

I could not take my eyes off her as though I was drawn to her light.

Her radiant smile stirred something in me…

I would share my light with others, just as she touches others with hers.

(Yellow is not the sun’s true color; it is actually white. Even I didn’t realize until recently.

Regardless, it is a marvel… and my soul thinks so, according to the part that’s searing yellow.)

"You will take time to heal, but I will be your friend, still."

...said she who heard me in my silence once before,

which was something not many did before her.

They would disregard me, and I would hide away,

but she would see and hear me, anyway.

One cursed night, I would show her my phone with the truth:

My heart was still burning for her after all this time.

Her touch burned, her apology pierced through me

because I couldn’t see why she’d apologize when none of it was her fault.

But her voice would still echo in my mind in the middle of the night,

telling me to persevere, for the world was waiting for me.

Her encouragement for me to heal stirred something in me…

Maybe it would hurt worse before getting better, but I would push through.

(Orange is usually a herald of danger, as poisonous animals sometimes bear this color.

Ironic, then, that it also heralds healing… and maybe this is why my soul emanates orange.)

"Promise me this, promise me you'll live, even when it hurts."

...said she whose memory is as precious as gold to me,

worth more than my medals could ever hope to be.

I’m not someone who would bind myself to promises so easily,

but I was so moved by what she’d done for me that I let her bind me to one.

I could not see a better life for myself

and I thought nothing of leaving everything behind.

I would have wished for everything to cease

if that meant I would also cease with the world.

But she broke through the noise yet again

and bound me to an oath I will honor for the rest of my days.

Her wish for me to live stirred something in me…

I will LIVE while I am still here.

(Red is a color I’m beyond acquainted with, as I constantly trip on my own feet.

Just like the blood in my veins, my soul pulses red in my desire to stay alive, alive, alive.)

It appears that souls are nothing like atoms in one respect.

Where atoms of the same kind would emit the same spectrum,

no two souls are completely alike.

Neither do they always stay the same…

Change is inherent in their nature. In ours.

Who we are now is not the same as who we were yesterday.

Even our soul’s spectra, our very cores, will change.

But despite everything that has happened, is happening, and has yet to happen…

May we rest easy, knowing that we are still “us.”

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