Celie and Shug are talking about God and how He is all around us. And that giving Him a face - the face of a man - confuses things because God isn't a he or a she. When they speak of it, they're speaking about God. Our narrator is Celie.
Listen, God love everything you love--and a mess of stuff you don't. But more than anything else, God love admiration.----------
You saying God vain? I ast.
Naw, she say. Not vain, just wanting to share a good thing. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
What it do when it pissed off? I ast.
Oh, it make something else. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.
Yeah? I say.
Yeah, she say. It always making little surprises and springing them on us when us least expect.
You mean it want to be loved, just like the bible say.
Yes, Celie, she say. Everything want to be loved. Us sing and dance, make faces and give flower bouquets, trying to be loved. You ever notice that trees do everything to git attention we do, except walk?
This is the yellow tree in the photo on this post. But I took this photo many years ago at my parent's house. I remember raking leaves (see my rake laying on the fence corner?) and looking up and seeing this gorgeous hickory tree - showing off, wanting to be loved and admired. I took this picture so I could remember the exact color of the leaves.
Turns out, I don't need the picture.
I recall the afternoon of this photo perfectly. I remember that one of the neighbors was burning leaves and another was using a chainsaw. And that I explored my dad's barn (I was looking for barn-cat kittens) before coming back to rake the leaves you see just outside the fence there. And I recall, perfectly, looking up, seeing this tree, and stopping. Stopping raking, stopping breathing, stopping thinking about anything but the awesome color of those leaves. It was a perfect moment. And this tree was perfect beauty.
Each autumn since then, when I'm at my folks' house, I make sure to admire the hickory. That's why we took pictures of the old car in front of it. That tree grabbed my attention and love years ago and hasn't let go yet.