Monthly Archives: September 2011

Covering All Bases

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Surfing the internet while waiting for the glue on some models to dry, I stumbled across a post on a very well-known Catholic blog which tackled a sensitive subject.  The comments were absolutely vitriolic and the article found itself re-posted all over the internet, covered in hate-speech for the woman who wrote it.  It disgusted me, as they went so far as to attack her children, wish physical harm upon her, and threaten her death.  This is unacceptable behaviour for anyone old enough to speak to another person.

Quill and I are going to be covering some controversial topics (at least I definitely will, and hopefully he will weigh in) in the relatively near future (near future on college time) and I would like to establish this right now, before that can of worms is opened.  Hatred and personal attacks are not accepted here, anywhere.  Opinions are fine, but instigation is unacceptable.  If Quill or I spot any of those, your comment will be deleted.  If  you feel it is an unfair deletion, e-mail one or both of us with a rational argument as to why you believe it should be re-posted.  If you rage at us in those emails, you will be ignored.   If bad behaviour continues, I will enable comment moderation, which will make me very cranky and also will mean that comments could take a LONG TIME to be checked and accepted.

Working definitions so there is no bickering (from the Oxford English Dictionary):

bigoted (adj): having or revealing an obstinate belief in the superiority of one’s own opinions and a prejudiced intolerance of the opinions of others

hate mail (n): hostile and sometimes threatening letters sent, usually anonymously, to an individual or group

compassion(n): sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others

tolerance (n): the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with

These are, effectively, our “House Rules.”  Follow them, and we’ll all be friends.  Break them, and I might have to put you in time-out.  Happy reading!

Searching for Beauty

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So I’m in university now.  Fancy.  A big girl.  And my favourite building on campus is the fanciest one there.  It’s old, and beautiful.  Don’t get me wrong–I totally appreciate and respect the steel-and-glass structures of modern buildings.  But I have the biggest soft spot for anything old, tall, fancy, and imposing.  And stained-glass windows are even better.

I think I’m one of the few in my class who loves old stuff this way.  I’ve always loved vintage things–especially when they have good stories behind them.  I’m bad at history, but I love things with history.

Many people hear “old” and think “run-down,” “dysfunctional,” “outdated,” “impractical,” etc.  I hear “old” and I hear “antique,” “historical,” and “classic” (and yes, I do know that in terms of wooden boats, those are age categories).  “Vintage” doesn’t mean “retro” in my mind–it’s the real deal.

Frequently, I find it much easier to find beauty in old buildings or things or customs–or things which are “call-backs,” in a sense, to things of the past.  The details, symmetry, and elegance of old buildings always cause my face to brighten.  Some “antiquated” customs such as chivalry (which Quill can ramble insightfully about ad infinitum, if anyone lets him) are caring and thoughtful, even if they’re “in-bred” or whatever.  Old dances make me smile with their formalities and mannerisms–such a radical difference from the “dances” of today.

As I go around on my day-to-day life of drawing, erasing, re-drawing, and attempting to make my lines straight (still working on that), I try to find beauty wherever I look.  The small details and intricacies in older buildings (or buildings modeled after older styles) intrigue me.  However, things in the natural world are eye-catchingly beautiful, too–the latticework of tree branches, dappled lighting along a path, a wall covered in climbing ivies or flowering trumpet vines.

If I’m ever lucky enough to catch a sunset, it catches me off-guard with its loveliness.  Sunset is, quite possibly, my most favourite time of day.  The brilliant, dominant beauty of the star of the day is receding to allow for the subtle and mysterious beauty of the stars of the night.

I guess I’m just concluding this ramble with a point: in a world where “art” does not necessarily constitute beauty, and loveliness is often considered “cost-prohibitive,” the Big Man Upstairs still has the right idea.  He made flowers, which are beautiful.  And stars.  And sunsets.  And you know what?  They’re FREE.