Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trust30: Ordinary Things

“Every artist was first an amateur.”

To be an artist one has to find beauty in ordinary things. Find 10 things of great beauty in the landscape that surrounds you. For example, crumple sheets on your bed in the morning, the smell of coffee making its way around a busy office.

The above picture is part of a large treeline overlooking a glen. It sits above and behind the apartment complex where I live. One of the things that I love about these trees is how they are tellers of fortune, nature whisperers.

When storms are coming, these tall trees sway to an incredible beat, sometimes bending at extreme angles for their size. The animals they house swoop and fly, disappearing into them. And when the seasons change, Autumn is my favorite. They take on so many red, gold and amber shades that they appear to be on fire in the sunlight.

...and there is no charge for this daily show other than the cost of my attention; Everyday beauty that surrounds me when I am at home, and much appreciated.

Today, I am staying in a hotel in Syracuse, NY. This is as utterly different from the nature scene described above as it gets. I have come at the unique time of the Syracuse Nationals, a large automobile lovers show especially catering to classic cars. I have taken some pictures on my phone which I won't be able to download until I return home, but this link will give you an idea:

So ten items of beauty can be found anywhere you extend your attention. Even working in a "dingy office" setting today as a trainer, I can share some beauty:

A display of telephone equipment dating from the early 1900's until about the 1980's. This included classic telephone booths;

An "ocean" of cubicles containing customer service workers, chatting away with people and attempting to help them solve problems or upgrade service. The truly engaged reps were standing on their feet, attached by a headset to their customers, and moving and speaking in a highly energetic, animated fashion. It was like watching theater.

From the Syracuse Nationals I described above, the event itself is intoxicating, even for a non-classic car person like myself. These vehicles are their pride and joy and they love displaying them. As I drove to dinner, there were people sitting on lawn chairs in the grassy strips facing the road in front of their hotels, simply to admire the variety of meticulously maintained antique chariots passing on the road. It made me smile and appreciate their energy.

Dinner was at an incredibly kitschy place called "Quaker State and Lube." It's like eating in a converted old gas station. Cars hang from the walls and ceilings, old gas pumps, advertising fuel at .17 cents per gallon, stand all around. It is so magnificently garish, so over the top that it's gorgeous in achieving exactly what it set out to be.

Simple and overlooked beauty like a housekeeper leaving your person items "just so" after straightening up your room and making you bed with fresh, clean linens. Simply wonderful.

When I get the opportunity, I will post pictures of some of these things out of the simple joy of having observed and appreciated them for the joys that they are, whether large or small. This, to me, is what makes life a movable feast.

The table is always set for us, the invitation always extended. We simply have to notice that it's there.

1 comment:

  1. everyday beauty that surrounds our home should really be appreciated but most of the time we take it for-granted.