"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

11 July 2011

Three miles an hour

Driving through Pittsburgh last month, on the way to a game with my baseball loving friend, Ann, we ended up on a street that was new to me. Its funny how we get in our routines, we were only a block down from the street I ususally take, but I was following her directions in case she knew a better way. Direction-wise and traffic-wise it was about the same as my usual route, but aesthetically, it was a treat. A new road, with cute facades, obviously the work of some enterprising urban renewal with a mind to "walkable neighborhoods." During the conversation sparked by our drive through town, we remarked also on the older buildings, the gratuitious nature of art, how the older buildings had built into them a reason to look up and around. Moldings and patterns and waves where modern buildings have monochomatic straight edges make the older facades worth seeing. They were not at all functional, someone had to put them there just to make beauty. Art is, by its nature, rarely necessary. That's why its so important.

But today's world drives by, and the old art blurs past our windows at sixty miles an hour. The reasons to preserve the old art are lost, and the new art is never born. No one will ntoice. Why bother?

Today, a little road construction forced me and the children to park a little further away from a common destination, my eldest's piano lesson. As we parked a two blocks over and walked, I looked down and spotted a piece of gratuitious whimsy... I can't exactly call it art... But here it is:

It's not every day you see a case of "road sharks." Kind of like Dave Barry's "Lawn vampires" only more obvious to the casual observer.

I've driven by the road shark more times than I care to count over the last couple of years (as my son has progressed through quite a lot of piano lessons) and I have never before seen the road shark. Its companion items stuck in the concrete are much worse for the wear, so I am certain the road shark has been there a good long time; its just that he's made of a more durable rubber than the other items imbedded in this particular driveway. He's nothing new that I should notice him. Its just that today I slowed down and walked.

My mother-in-law is a regular walker. I wish I were, but I get bored. I don't mind walking if I have somewhere to go or someone to walk with, but its days like today that I realize how much I miss when I don't slow down and leave the car in park.

1 comment:

  1. Adding: I'm sorry to say that last week I noticed that the "road shark" has been removed. Alas, it was cool