I found these notes in an old journal. I was pondering the attributes, from a writer’s point of view, of gold and silver.
Gold is the colour of royalty, of quality, of the authorised, and acknowledged, of states and state, religions and churches and faiths, of the accepted and acceptable, of righteousness. Gold is pure, incorruptible, reliable, ‘pure gold’, good, honest and forthright. Gold is given in blessing and to enrich, it is security, savings and wealth. Gold is warm and appealing, gold is the colour of the noonday sun, giving life to all and sight to all. ‘Gold standard’ indicates a status achieved, a level of existence and compliance, of regularity and trust, and a line by which all else is measured. Gold is laid up for the righteous.
But silver. No. Silver is ‘other’. Silver is secretive and fleeting, it is mercurial and unremarkable in nature, it changes hands easily, claiming a new master. Silver works its arts by night, it is hard, cold, bright and the colour of small change, ready money, the easily-obtained. The colour of stars and light of the moon, silvery and secret, sinister and elusive, dancing through the sky, always out of reach, now hidden, now displayed. The thirty pieces of silver, the betrayer’s coin, the turner of hearts and souls, the illicit, the unpermitted, the unauthorised, the denied.