Lessons from Kermit the Frog: Seeing green is the way to be
When our family of six used to pile up in the station wagon for long periods of travel we’d play a game that my mother made up. “If you were an animal,” she’d ask, “what would you be?” Everyone took turns answering and the last person who answered got to ask the next question. The questions grew more interesting as the miles moved on.
If you were a day of the week … a part of the body … a room in a house … so on and so forth until, inevitably, it came around to my favorite question … if you were a color? My answer was SO never changing that everyone usually answered in unison along with me ... “GREEEEEN!”
I wear the color as often as possible and in almost any variation except kelly. Inside our home the walls are painted a “dirty green” as one friend described it. When we painted the trim outside another color green, my friend Mr. B — Texas' flower king — took one look at it and declared, “I’d call that ‘Squashed Caterpillar Green.' ” And from then on (whenever someone asks) … I do.
A few days ago at Whole Foods, I ran into a friend who is a floral designer. Dan sees green too, especially that spring green color. Suddenly, as if he’d remembered something huge — he grabbed my arm and pulled me over to the pistachio bin. “You HAVE to see this!” he said gleefully.
After pulling the lever, pistachios poured into the palm of his hand. “Look at THIS green,” he pointed with precision. Both of us stood there eyeballing the pistachios as if we were looking through a microscope at precious jewels. Truly, they were like little jewels. Nestled along each one’s ridge was a gorgeous color green that I’d not stopped to fully appreciate before, probably because I was too busy eating them. Adding to the pleasure of this discovery was the fact that Dan was there too — amazed by the same beauty.
Like when you see a rainbow with someone or share a sunset.
There’s another great green — thanks in part to the Houston humidity, which believe it or not — I also love. It’s a moss that grows (over a period of time) in between the bricks on our outside patio. To the touch, it feels like velvet. If old, it feels puffy, just like a toad.
One year, just when it was growing good and gooey, our yardman politely offered to “power wash” the entire patio. “Thanks,” I told him, “but you know I like power washing about as much as blowers.”
Pollen can be a pain for many, but when I was a kid growing up it was like green paint to me. When it fell heavily on our driveway, I’d draw pictures in it with my fingers before having to perform the sad “chore” of sweeping it all away. Years later, while location scouting for a film in the remote woods of northern Georgia, I saw the green mist like never before. Pollen had reached a record high that spring, transforming the woods into some mystical picture out of a fairy tale.
Usually, in late afternoons the sun rays seem to pierce through the trees. Now, however, it floated — as if a giant had dusted the wood with green flour.
A friend who worked for an advertising agency once told me, “You know what I do when I get depressed? I go to Central Market or Whole Foods — to the produce department … and somehow, I always come out of there feeling better.” Perhaps this is the same feeling for actors when they come out of the “green room” to perform on stage.
Joe Raposo got green so beautifully and so too did Kermit singing his song “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”
“ people tend to pass you over…
but green’s the color of spring…
can be cool and friendly-like…”
Green can mean go, growing, fresh, rich … really … anything anew, which is what I like most about it. I’m no Frog, rather squashed caterpillar. But I’m GREEEEN. Green is what I want to be. And I’m with Kermit. “It’ll do fine.”