The Art of David Wiley | Colors Of The Roundtable-Episode 3 | Scene4 Magazine | July 2016 |

David Wiley



              Lady Chameleon was a fabled Color frequently mentioned at the Round Table, especially during periods of thoughtful exuberance. She had always been a legend (as well as a reality) who was, properly enough, difficult to describe. There was a world of anecdotal evidence to support the existence of Lady Chameleon, but there had never been any tangible proof. Lady Chameleon was a spirit Color, and a Colorshifter, who moved where and when she pleased without being seen, except as a colored nimbus liable to evaporate at any moment. The first reports of Lady Chameleon, thousands of years earlier, described a Color that was not really a Color, but rather a kind of Color bearing presence, possessing briefly the Color she had chosen. One of the first accounts had been given by Sir Red. “She came to me without warning, dazzling and possessing me, sapping my strength – and I could do nothing. After she left my strength returned, and perhaps had even grown a little. This Lady Chameleon had no fear when she came to me, and I felt no fear while she was with me. I felt that she was giving me a powerful message, one I have never really understood, although I sense that it has been absorbed by my subconscious.”

            In subsequent decades and centuries there had been many accounts of messages, a few of them delivered verbally by Lady Chameleon. At the present meeting of the Round Table, the topic of discussion having turned to Lady Chameleon and her ways, Lady Vermilion had been insisting that during a visit from Lady Chameleon she had distinctly heard the words, “We are one. We are many. We are all the same. We are all different.”

            “That’s nothing new,” Sir Purple objected. “We all knew that..... didn’t we?”

            “Yes,” retorted Lady Vermilion, “Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. It was something in the voice itself that made the message important.”

            The venerable Sir Yellow asked for attention, and rose from his chair. “All of us here at the Table have had visits from Lady Chameleon, but many Colors in all our Families have never had such visits, and many of them don’t even believe in the existence of Lady Chameleon. Our senses and our minds tell us she does exist, however we cannot blame those without the experience of her for not believing in her. The real question is, what does she want to communicate to us? So ..... I want to suggest that the next time we have our visits from Lady Chameleon we should pay close attention, concentrate our energies, and open our minds and hearts. Perhaps we’ll discover something useful. I don’t think Lady Chameleon is likely to show up at a meeting of the Round Table and reveal all her secrets to us in a way we can understand. We’ll have to explore. And explore intensely.” Then Sir Yellow sat down.

            The Conductor, who sat near the Table but not at it, then rose to speak. “I too have had a few visits from Lady Chameleon, and, like Sir Yellow, I believe we have things to learn from her. It seems that what we have to learn may not concern the conscious mind. It probably has to do with absorbing into our very flesh and bone and blood a new kind of knowledge. And if we can harness this knowledge in some way, I believe it will help us immensely in our crusade to save my idiot species from destroying itself – and everything else in the world along with it. This is not a task we can do by ourselves. We cannot simply put Colors in motion and make things that may or may not be attractive and thoughtful, and expect that to do the trick. We need a miracle! Somehow we must show them the wisdom of the heart. And I think Lady Chameleon may be trying to guide us in this direction. And if, with her help, we can show these people that the soul only exists when it is filled with love and generosity, then perhaps we may yet save them from themselves.” The Conductor paused to look around the Table. “Now..... let’s hear some more thoughts on this fascinating subject. Sir Orange, what do you think?”  

            Sir Orange rose, brushing some crumbs from his vest, and commenced in an uncharacteristically hesitant and doubtful voice. “Well, I am not at all sure what to think of Lady Chameleon. She is ..... well, something strange anyway. The first time she came to me I thought she was a sex sprite.” There were a few snickers at mention of this mythical being, who was considered by nearly everyone to be the product of imagination. “Soon, however, I realized I was dealing with something not only real but very powerful. Lady Chameleon, on more than one occasion, has given me a feeling of happiness and ecstasy such as I never feel except when we are working, and the work is going well. Some others at this Table have related similar experiences.”

            Sir Yellow then stood up again to say that he agreed with what had been said, and wanted to add that, judging from all the information available, Lady Chameleon was a kind of Color angel, going here and there, helping Colors become more enlightened about themselves. “I think she has been given to us by a higher being to help us in our crusade,” Sir Yellow concluded. Sir Yellow was deemed the wisest and brightest of all the Colors, and his opinions were never taken lightly. Most of the Colors had no particular beliefs regarding angels or a higher a being. But if Sir Yellow thought they were possible, maybe they did exist.

            Lady Ultra now stood, and bowed gracefully to all there. “My friends,” she began, “we have a long history with Lady Chameleon, she almost seems like a sister to me. I have to say that some of my first encounters with Lady Chameleon were not entirely happy ones. She seemed like some strange form of myself, my own spirit, I thought at the time, and it frightened
me. After that there was a period of decades when she didn’t come to me. When she did finally come back, I was overjoyed, and I embraced her as fully and wholeheartedly as it is possible to embrace a spirit. And since that visit, I have never felt distressed by her presence. On the contrary, with every visit from Lady Chameleon I feel I understand myself a little better. It’s a wonderful thing to understand yourself. It helps you do your work better. I only hope the forces of enlightenment she exerts upon us will reach their zenith in time. Before .....” Lady Ultra stopped speaking and sat down.

            “Hear! Hear!” cried Sir Yellow. “I believe Lady Ultra has a closer connection with Lady Chameleon than the rest of us. And yes, that too should tell us something about Lady Chameleon.”

            “Are you saying,” inquired Sir Orange, “that we should all listen to each other, but some more than others?”

            “Yes,” replied Sir Yellow, “that’s about it.”

            The Conductor clapped his hands together. “Bravo! Discrimination is the key. The ancient Chinese taught us this, and we have mostly forgotten it.”

            Now although everybody wanted to say something, they deferred to Lady Blue, who had indicated a desire to speak. She rose gracefully and pressed her fingers together in an attitude of prayer, as she sometimes did. “This is not the first time,” she began, “that we have tried to fathom Lady Chameleon together. We have done so many times. And that in itself tells me it’s a matter of importance. It is said by some ....” Lady Blue paused and smiled, “that the skies and the waters are my domain. However that may be, I have sometimes had the feeling that Lady Chameleon inhabits the skies and the waters everywhere, that she is a part of it all, and one of the things she does is remind us that we too are a part of the water and the air and the earth. .....”

            “Don’t forget fire,” Sir Red interrupted.

            “Yes, and fire too. Lady Chameleon is certainly part fire. I feel ..... I feel that Lady Chameleon whispers things to me. I’m not sure what they are. Now and then I have the impression that she is the very soul of curiosity. Questions and answers are the same thing, are they not? In any case, my experiences with Lady Chameleon have been profound, moving, and edifying. I am deeply grateful to her.” Lady Blue then put her fingers together as before, and sat down.

            “Thank you, Lady Blue,” said the Conductor. “Your insights give us a new dimension. Yes, it would seem that our experiences of Lady Chameleon are all similar and all different. And I suppose that is as it should be. Does anyone else have something to say?”

            “Yes, I have something,” said Sir Cadmium, pushing back his chair. “I too have had visits from Lady Chameleon, and I won’t deny that she’s something special. But I’m skeptical about what she is. Everyone apparently believes that she’s a spirit of some sort. What does that mean? If spirits exist, maybe they only exist in our minds. Perhaps these encounters are only neurological events, something that happens when our chemistry is rearranged a certain way.” Sir Cadmium stopped and looked around the Table. There were, as he expected, a few smirks. “Maybe all I’m saying,” he went on, “is that possibly Lady Chameleon should not be referred to as a Color. She’s too different to be called a Color.”

            “There are some things you don’t seem to understand, Sir Cadmium,” said Lady Magenta in a somewhat forced tone of sympathy. “The Kingdom of Color is a vast realm containing many things we are not aware of, things that even the Conductors are not aware of. There are no doubt beings more mysterious than Lady Chameleon, who is much more real than the beings we know almost nothing about, those who inhabit the unknown regions of the Universe of Color. Yes, let us not forget that there is a Universe of Color beyond the Kingdom of Color, and we may have relatives there who barely resemble us. Anyway, it is better to think expansively than to concern ourselves with what kind of ‘chemical components’ might be operating in our heads.”

            “No! No! I think Sir Cadmium has a point,” shouted Sir Green. And then the Round Table erupted into disorder, which was shortly halted by Sir Red pounding his fist on the Table. He scolded his peers for their unruliness. “Ladies and Knights! Ladies and Knights! Can you not behave like civilized Colors? There is more to this meeting than the endless questions and quibbles about Lady Chameleon. Let the Conductor speak.”

            Now the Conductor stood and nodded to various Colors around the Table. “This is all extremely interesting, and I’ve been trying to think how it might apply to the upcoming Project, our 40 foot by 95 foot mural. There are very possibly serious applications. I think we should discuss Lady Chameleon again at another meeting before we begin the Project. This mural, if it is going to do its part to save the world, must carry a message so beautiful and so compelling it will be able to change people, to make them understand that the world is not going to be a paradise for their children unless they become wiser, more aware, and willing to change. We need to work together in perfect harmony to achieve this. So, let us meet again in three days. I’m sure you are all preparing yourselves well for the great work ahead. But I see that a few of you are looking a bit puny still. So bulk up! You’ll need it.” The Conductor then bowed to the Ladies and saluted the Knights, thus bringing the meeting to a close.

Previous Chapters of Colors of The Roundtable:


Episode 1
Chaos In The Kingdom

Episode 2
The Case of Lady Lilac and Sir Caperoot

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Scene4 Magazine - David Wiley

David Wiley, painter-poet, exhibits throughout
California and abroad. A book about his work,
The Poetry of Color, is in progress.
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