For midlife journalist and designer Aarona Iris Miller, adrift in the west coast singles world, life is a tense survival dance. Nothing hangs together now at the end of the 20th century, and her time in Northern California and the world is starting to compress.
Iris was raised in the frank-speaking east coast vernacular, and here in the social circles of the far western edge, her intensity is perceived as pushy. Her overblown dreams of becoming a peacemaker, great artist, and partner of a great man keep leading her up blind alleys.
Iris's grand vision, to save the world while enveloped in an art-filled union with the right man, dangles tantalizingly beyond her reach. Distorting the dream is her obsession with a string of mover-and-shaker men whose worldly power exudes for her a heady aphrodisiac. Meanwhile, her hidden ambition remains muted. She wants to achieve greatness as a peacemaker and cross-cultural bridge. She wants to matter and have a choice of matter, to be something new under the sun. And she wants to frame the tapestry of her soul with light.
The outer forces that straightjacket Iris mirror an inner war. Pushed and pulled, she travels back into her past to find core reasons for her ongoing inside battle, and then further back, into her mother's early story in pre-WWII Poland. And she travels forward, into the contemporary American Indian world and the seething core of Israel/Palestine.
Iris comes to understand that any international peacemaking effort she could make would be a mockery unless her inner confrontations can resolve and green her soul's battlefield. Once she manages to wrestle herself down, she starts to recognize her struggle in others' stories and then discovers color therapy, a shortcut to her own salvation. While playing with paints, Iris sees that each of her inner conflicts carries its own color. Identifying the hidden emotional link to colors and using opposite hues to paint out her pain helps to heal her soul.
With her desire for peace and a nurturing union as a loaded brush and the globe as her undulating canvas, Iris paints the spectrum of herself, reclaiming her colored edges one by one. When she is finally able to fill in her missing colors, Aarona Iris Miller becomes more than a sketch, and the luminous rainbow painted inside can finally pour a healing elixir into the world.