When even power lines can be beautiful…

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. ❤


  1. You don’t want to know how often I have shot power lines! There is something about the tangle of them, in one busy intersection we have here, that mesmerizes me. Perhaps it is in the precision without tension soaring high above the tension without precision down below on the road?
    But most of all I am in awe of massive pillars with their lines stretching out across a vast plain, disappearing eventually into the dust. Beautiful, yes, for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In my excitement to find you shooting power lines, I clean forgot to mention that I loved this post, especially the way you go out looking for beauty, when you could so easily stay home, moping and warm.
        I also noticed that the patterns soared into a spot of colour 🙂 xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The whole world is beautiful in monochrome! Your beautiful photos remind me to shoot in black and white more often. And I had to chuckle at the “corporate spy” comment, as I’ve gotten that before- a big camera can appear really intimidating, and most people can’t imagine the aesthetic value that you are sensing from behind your lens.

    Liked by 2 people

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