Monday, September 5, 2011

Hardscape

Not all that is beautiful is found in nature.  Humans were made in the image of God. Like God we create.  Once we no longer had to work for our subsistence, be began to create. We painted on caves, we carved stone, we formed shapes from clay - not just useful shapes like cooking pots, but shapes that satisfied an inner longing to create.  We made pipes that look like birds and turtles, We built homes, not just to shelter us, but to please our eye also.  

The more organized humans have become, the more we have decorated our world.  Once we divided ourselves up into groups such as people to provide our food, people to   make our clothes, people to count our money and people to sue or shoot our enemies, we made a special niche for people who design and decorate our buildings.  
That is what today's article is about.  The work of those people. The handiwork and designs that have little to no use other than to please our desire for beauty.
Chanan Building 142 E. 42nd Street New York City
We could exist just fine with plain flat walls but we don't want to.  That would be boring. This is NOT boring:
As creators, we locate our creations wherever we can, squeezing them into the nooks and crannies that surround us.  
We use art to tell us the function of a place. 
Grand Central Station could have been an efficiently plain building void of decoration. Trains would still transport passengers.  Instead it is where we find tiny one-inch tiles tucked beneath the roof lines, jarred and soiled as subways pass below full of people, tiles that need to be cleaned and often repaired. People seldom notice but when we do, we treasure the creation. 



Mere concrete is not enough for some buildings. Panels molded from metal reflect the light of a sunrise. It does nothing for its inhabitants but for us who pass by it brings a smile. What could be the reason for such architecture if not whimsy, a desire to create something different, something that pleases us? This particular building shows up in very few images of New York City.  Perhaps it was the sunrise that made me tilt my head upward, that drew my eye toward the light.




Sometimes we create just for fun.
Here in this city where humans have built toward the sky we are encouraged to look up.
For "up" is where the real action is.


Up is where we center our worship.







Up is where we focus our dreams.

Looking up we may see symbols of a nation.
The explorers and the ideals that a nation has used to build an identity
to understand our gifts,
To learn who we are,
as we were led forward to face our future.
These creations may show us people we admire but they show us much more.  
They remind us that our greatest gift is our creativity.
That there is much more beauty in creating than there is in destroying.
On the border of China Town and Little Italy - I don't know exactly what it says but I know it says, "I was here." "I exist!"
We cannot help ourselves. We make our "mark" however we can, with whatever resources we have; some more beautiful than others.
The ceiling of  the lobby of David Letterman's auditorium
But each mark our own creation.
Each is our response to something put inside us when we were made.
That touch of God's image.
The spark that drives us to create.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Wonderful post, thoroughly enjoyed.