Purple is Really Light Blue


She has Synesthesia, a word I’ve never heard before tonight. With her thick accent, I couldn’t decipher her pronunciation – nor could I spell it in my head- like I often do with words when I hear them for the first time. I had to look up her condition when I got home.

She stood at the podium and read her poetry, with musicality in her voice, and interspersed her readings with stories about the complexities of perceiving words in colors. “Purple is Really Light Blue,” Marlena said, finding humor in her own neurological phenomenon. And, I wrote that down, “Purple is Really Light Blue,” thinking she titled her own brilliant poem. One she should write instead of me.  

But, I also fancy myself a bit of a poet, and I coined her phrase. I stole it right there on the spot. I couldn’t help myself, especially since Marlena gave me permission when she loosely quoted T.S. Eliot from her brightly lit pulpit in the auditorium, “Bad poets imitate. Good Poets Steal.” Her phrase, so good, it needed to be stolen, even if by the likes of me. 

I don’t have Synesthesia. But, when in debate I am told my ideas are contrary, or my perceptions are even a tiny bit off, I’ll simply smile and say, “That’s okay, purple is really light blue.” 

Author: Tonia Allen Gould

Tonia Allen Gould is the CEO of Tagsource, a 25-year-old Consumer Promotions and Marketing Agency, she's founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project, and children's book author of Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. Here, on this blog, she writes about whatever compels her at the moment. In her book, she explores the concepts of perseverance, hard work, bullying, and finding a place to call home for young readers. The impetus of the Finding Corte Magore project stems from Tonia's background - growing-up below the poverty line, in rural Indiana. A product of Indiana's foster care system, she is the first to say that books, a solid education and teachers, taught her there was a life for herself, tangible and within her reach, she just had to reach out and grab it. After publishing her first book, she decided she wanted to find an island and make it real, by naming it after the fictional place in her book, “Corte Magore,” and utilize it for social and environmental good. Today, the 29-acre island of Corte Magore at Hog Cay, Nicaragua- through a joint partnership with Ambassador Francisco Campbell, the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the U.S.-will be utilized by the Finding Corte Magore Project to work to keep Nicaraguan children in school. The Finding Corte Magore Project works virtually to connect a global community of students and institutions with the plight of educationally and economically repressed Nicaragua. The project involves showcasing and managing one of the country's own beautiful islands in its educational and environmental initiatives. The goal of The Finding Corte Magore Project is to create social awareness coupled with building a sustainable, positive and long-term educational impact on the country's children who have an on-average fifth grade dropout rate. In addition, Tonia is a promotional products industry veteran. She is the founder and CEO of 25-year old Tagsource, LLC (AKA TAG! The Creative Source). She currently serves on the BOD for the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC), is an "Industry Voice", a recipient of a PPAI Golden Pyramid, and has been named on ASI’s Hot List. She is the recipient of Supplier of the Year award through the Women’s Business Enterprise Council West, as nominated by Fortune 500 companies.