I don’t know what made me pull the car over when I did, except for that certain instinct I sometimes have that there’s beauty to be found nearby, if I’m willing to look for it.
This was a week or two ago. I’d recently arrived home from Florida, and after all that color and heat I felt suddenly submerged in icewater and cold white light. Stunned.
It was hard, at first, to see the loveliness in this town I call home.
I guess that’s what drove me to go rambling around one morning, looking for it.
I shot photos of stacked tires outside the Yokohama factory:
Of a tight honeycomb of pallets at the plant across the street:
I was looking, deliberately, for beauty in less-than-beautiful places. I guess I figured if I could see it there, I could see it anywhere.
Maybe you know what I mean.
After an hour or so, I had a full SD card, and I thought I was finished. I turned my car toward home, and I was almost there when the instinct to look for loveliness lit up behind my eyes in a flash.
I saw the power station in my periphery — the dipping lines of the electrical wires and the gray-scudded blue of the sky. Suddenly I found myself yanking the wheel of the Volvo to the curb. Rolling down the window. Reaching for my camera.
I was looking for the beauty in small, tight angles — a clean geometry of electricity cutting through cloud. I let the car idle, the shutter clicking and clicking, until I stopped hearing the radio, until I was no longer aware of the passing cars, of the the cold air filling the cabin.
I fell so completely into the rabbit hole of the lens that I almost didn’t hear it when a man in a hard hat and an orange vest banged on the passenger-side window to ask why I was taking pictures of the sub station. I think, for a minute there, he might have suspected I was a corporate spy — until, of course, I opened my mouth.
You should have seen the look on his face when I tried to explain that I thought the power lines were beautiful.
As I drove home, after, I realized suddenly how strange it really *did* sound: the power lines — beautiful. But they were, weren’t they? I mean, in that quiet way, the way that things can be beautiful when most people think they’re ugly.
So I’d done it then: I’d done what I’d set out to do. Maybe not for you — who knows whether you’ll see beauty here, or just a clutter of black wires in the sky? But I did it for me. I looked at power lines and saw beauty.
And if that makes a man in an orange vest stare at me like I’m some kind of a loon, I’ll take it — today, tomorrow and the next day after that.
I hope you go out looking for beauty today. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find it in the last place you’d expect. ❤