Monday, January 01, 2007
A vision on concrete block
London, Ontario, December 2006
As 2007 dawns, I wanted to revisit one of the core themes of my writing: that inspiration often exists in the places where we'd least assume. The simple, often-overlooked nooks and crannies of our planet seem to hide the most fascinating things - and that's where we need to look for the sparks of guidance that will dictate our future path. More simply, beauty exists in the most unexpected places. I'll keep turning over the plain-looking, figurative rocks to find it. I hope you do, too.
But enough of the prologue. On with the show...
A smallish, otherwise-nondescript building along a forgettable stretch of a busy road houses an insurance broker. On one side is a dodgy-looking bowling alley. On the other sits an abandoned gravel lot that used to be a gas station. It's been surrounded by a gradually collapsing chain link fence for a couple of years, awaiting a redevelopment project that shows no signs of ever coming. It's not the kind of the place where many people stop and gawk.
But the north wall of the building is home to the fascinating beach scene depicted here. I snapped it on my walk to work. In recent months, I had noticed a few such murals on various buildings in and around the downtown area. I made a mental note to come back with a camera, but never seemed to find the time.
I found the time this morning. I'm glad I did, because as I composed the shot and played with the settings, an early-at-work employee peeked out the window and saw me. I waved. She waved back. I hope she wonders about my parking lot photography as much as I wonder about what it must be like to work in a building whose owners took the time to have this painted. Everyone's got a story, after all.
Your turn: Got any concrete block murals in your neighborhood? What does this one make you think of?