Miles From Fenway

Looking at Life
August 23, 2005, 3:54 am
Filed under: misc., NYC

Do you ever feel like you sometimes look at life the wrong way? As I write this I am sitting on the stoop outside my laundromat and as I walked outside I thought “Gee, what a beautiful sunset, it looks like a painting!” And, in honesty, it does. The salmon colored clouds look like giant brush strokes across a bright blue canvas. It looks like one of those paintings you always used to see that guy doing on television. You know the “happy clouds” guy? What was his name?

anyway, this happens with relative frequency. I think most people have been on a vacation and seen a sandy white beach and crystal clear blue water and thought “Gee, this reminds me of a postcard!”I remember being down in the Dominican Republic back in January, taking a horseback ride on the beach when we stopped to look around. To our right, that crystal clear blue water I was talking about was spraying up in giant mists of white as the waves crashed on a natural rock shelf. And up ahead of us, where the beach seemed to end, but really just took a turn out of sight, was this gorgeous stone and straw cottage, all by itself framed by the water on one side and forrest on the other. That was my “this is a postcard” moment.

And then there’s living in New York City, where so many major motion pictures and television series are shot on a daily basis. There are constantly times when I’ll look around and think, “This is just like that scene in Sex and the City when Miranda tells Carrie she’s pregnant!” (that scene was shot right outside my office, so that actually happens DAILY). Or “wow, I feel like I’m in Friends”.

But isn’t this the wrong way to look at life? Literature, film, art, are all created to imitate real lofe. So instead of wandering around thinking about how real life feels like the movies, shouldn’t I get that feeling when I am watching a movie, or looking at a photo, or viewing a painting, that “Wow, this reminds me of such and such that happened to me”? Shouldn’t art remind me of my life instead of the other way around? And what does it say that that’s not the case?

Art SHOULD imitate life, not the other way around, no matter how the saying goes. We should revel in the beauty of our eeryday lives. In the people sharing the subway with us, in the sound of the laundromat spin cycle, in the beauty of a historic high rise building. We should glorify these things, because they are real. Not some Hollywood imitation of what is real. Not some artists rendition of what real life is like.

So take a moment and look around. Find one beautiful thing around you, and revel in it.


13 Comments so far
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Bob Ross

(I think)

Comment by Edmund Dantes

I have found something beautiful around me. It is my Yankee fan coworkers desperately scrambling for the NFL schedule whenever I come by their office. I revel in it.

Comment by JMD

I totally agree, but don’t you think that everything sort of effects everything else so while it is VERY important to make the distinction that art imitates life…doesn’t then life sort of imitate art? And isn’t that a good thing? Some art can be beautiful and, like you said, show us the perfection of a moment or a place. So isn’t it alright to say “I want my home to be like that one” or “I want my city to really be as gorgeous as that postcard” or “there really are other choices for me to make, as shown to me by such and such play I once saw”. You live in a city that offers you much opportunity. What about the guy who lives in Cornfield, Iowa or someplace that sees an episode of “Friends” and, God help him, want that kind of life, too? That’s just life trying to imitate art.

That is…if you can really call “Friends” art. But that’s a different subject.

Comment by Anonymous

WOW, Finy that was deep. Hopefully the puking boys will stick around. LOL! I agree with you, but anonymous too in a way. Depending on the situation, the reality and mostly the fantasy. Your way is a very optimistic way to look at it, which is great. But some people need that art to give them hope, or a dream. That art gives them that fantastic sense that you do feel like you’re in the movies, tv show or the place on the post card. In the same sense, people should appreciate what they have around them, as if it were the picture on the post card.

I LOVE NYC. I have been there twice and both times just amazed by everything around me. You get to see that every day. I get to drive over a beautiful mountain every day, TWICE! From my front and back porches I get to see green covered mountains. That’s something that you, living in NYC, may look at and just think, WOW.

You get the point. I think I’m going to post pictures taken from my porch.


Comment by Gimpy

I posted them, just for you!! 😉

Comment by Gimpy

Ed, I think you’re right. Thanks!

JMD, thank you for making this a little bit about baseball, it kept me to my word of writing about sports 🙂

Anon, comments like that make me happy that I didn’t block this blog off to non-blogspot members, even if it does make for quite a bit of spam. I agree, it’s absolutely a two way street. And I absolutely see your point. It was just at that moment, sitting out on the sidewalk in Brooklyn, I wanted to remind people that EVERYONE’s everyday life holds beauty. And not because it’s the subject of a play, or similar to a painting, but because it’s real. As for Friends being art, well, you’re right that’s an argument for another time 😉

April, I would love to se pictures from your porch. And you’re right about the mountains stunning me into an awed state. I am sure they would. Again, the beauty of each individual’s surroundings.

I didn’t mean to go all “deep” on everyone. Was just a random conversation I was having with myself while I was waiting for my laundry to dry. It was yet another one of those moments I wish I had had a camera though, would have loved to have shown you all that sunset. It was breathtaking.

Comment by FINY

Pretty words kids.

Comment by aurora

You are looking at it the wrong way around finy. No, not that we should look at art and marvel at how it reminds us of life, but that you think it’s wrong somehow that real life reminds you of art. Art is not merely an imitation of life. If it was, our museums would be filled with nothing but mirrors and photographs*. Art is commentary on life. It is interpretation. And when it’s at its best, it’s evocative. The fact that people reference art when they are encountering something in real life for the first time is a triumph for the artist. They have created something that rooted itself inside your psyche – waiting for a piece of real life to loose it from the grip of your grey matter.

*not to disparage photography as an art form

Comment by BlackJack

Great post! I can’t wait to revel in beer, beautiful beer, tonight. See you soon!

Comment by Meegan

Very well said! The postcard feeling, so true.

Comment by MC Etcher

Very cool design! Useful information. Go on! Ambien how long lexus coach series

Comment by Anonymous

That’s a great story. Waiting for more. video editing programs

Comment by Anonymous

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