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Many people hear “old” and think “run-down,” “dysfunctional,” “outdated,” “impractical,” etc.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.