This is that thing in the playground where you hang on and then slide across while keeping your feet off the ground. I am 38, so it doesn’t work for me anymore, but it seems like a cool idea.
is old and not very symmetrical.
I used to teach a course called Theory of Knowledge. During this course, students have to look at the hardest thing to see – things they’ve taken for granted. The obvious things in front of their faces. One of my favorite parts of the course was esthetics. There was little more entertaining than questioning the ideas of beauty, but also the widely held, completely non-critical idioms of our culture. Let’s try, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
In the case of the photo above, the most beautiful aspects are the fact that the hedge is in line with the bottom line of the porch, right below the bannister. I also like the matching windows on either side of the middle of the house, both upper and lower levels.
What takes away from this house’s beauty is the fact that the front door and the upper porch door are offset from center. Symmetry makes something beautiful. The other thing that really bothers me is that the lines of the house are shifting, probably due to the age of the house. I struggled to straighten the photo – played with cropping the photo – but realized, after a couple of minutes, that the lines of the house are not straight. The upper porch roofline is sagging and kept throwing off my eye.
Don’t get me wrong – I like the tension that creates. I also love old things and the shifting and off-center doors are a sign of the age of the house. Age can be beautiful. I do, however, think that there are certain rules about beauty, certain criteria to what is beautiful. Symmetry is one.
What are your criteria? And don’t be all politically correct. Be truthful.
This is a detail from the Alexandra Bridge in the Fraser Canyon of British Columbia. It is a disused automobile bridge, but is now only a pedestrian bridge on a lovely walking trail. It has been abused, by both the graffiti artists and time. The broken down look of this bridge’s pilings and foundations only add to its character. In the missing surfaces and rusty guardrails, there is a sense that this bridge has seen and experienced (as much as an inanimate object can see and experience) a great deal of time and wear. And in that wear is a beauty. I can only hope that when I’m broken down my experiences will make me beautiful.
My daughter and son, while on a short walk tonight, picked dandelion poofs and made wishes and blew on them. It was fun to watch them re-enact something that my wife and I did when we were young. While I was watching them blow on dandelions, a thought occurred to me to which I did not give voice.
I thought, “Please don’t blow those seeds toward my front lawn.”
And there it was. Right there. My youthful, fun self died. I actually thought about my lawn instead of fun. Argh…I’m old.
This is my daughter. She had a birthday almost a month ago. Call it voluntary repression, call it denial, but I’m still not comfortable with the idea that she’s a decade old. Because if she’s ten, I’m thirty-seven.