Some changes are gradual. I’ve gained thirteen pounds over the past few months and my fitness has declined. Last week, I started with a trainer at my new fitness club. “Derek” and I are looking longterm to get me stronger, more flexible and trimmer. I won’t go from 178 to 165 by Sunday but June 3 is doable.
Life, however, isn’t just about increments. Some changes are sudden, jolting and disorienting. Transformations. It’s like yelling “Ah ha!” It’s being in totally unfamiliar territory, maybe a neighbourhood where you don’t recognize any of the street signs or buildings. You’re swooning, groping inside a fog, asking yourself “Where the heck am I?”
I like symbols. They point me towards truths that my brainy mind just can’t grasp. Such a one showed up yesterday. My sister-in-law Nona shared a post from designyoutrust.com on her Facebook timeline. It was called “Before and After Photos Show the Power of Art to Transform Boring Buildings”.
This content is so visual, of course, and my writing is not. But I’ll give ‘er a go.
Consider the blank wall. It makes sure the offices and people don’t fall out. But crazed painters see far beyond the cement. Here are some jolts:
1. From two-dimensional to three. Imagine steps in the middle climbing high between two apartment buildings. A pub full of celebrators on the ground level. Folks on the stairs and leaning out of windows. Flags and flower boxes.
2. In real life, a small tree grows in front of a bare wall. And then … Voilà! … a giant redheaded girl in a flaming dress is holding a watering can above the little one.
3. A three-storey building is painted in robin’s egg blue. Very nice. Until one wall explodes as the night sky. Blue, pink and green nebulae swirl against the blackness.
4. A mass of grey disappears in favour of two orange stucco homes framing a river, bridges and the sky beyond. A simple wall now vibrates, sucking me into the scene.
5. And consider the hills of Palmitas, Mexico. Whitewashed homes cover the rising land … briefly. Part Two is a riot of pastel colours that swirl before my eyes.
What is that?
The world now shines