Sunday, September 01, 2019

The ignored giants in our midst

Touch the sky
London, ON
August 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram
On the eastern edge of London's downtown core, twin 70s-era high-rise rental buildings cast giant shadows over the dusty neighborhood below. They normally don't merit much attention because, let's be honest, they're architectural yawners. The half-dozen ornately designed churches within a 10-minute walk of here would be more deserving of a photowalk.

But wait. Do we ignore them because they don't adhere to a certain level of architectural style? Who decided rectilinear concrete ranked below ornate stone gargoyles and stained glass on the design-worthiness scale? Who are these people, anyway, and how were they chosen to decide what is or is not worthy?

On this brilliantly sunny day, I decided to take a closer look at something I'd been ignoring for years. I'm rarely in this area - or, more precisely, as I ride or drive through here on the way to somewhere else, I almost never pause here. It isn't an area where people tend to congregate. And on this day, I'm all alone.

The south tower looms over the empty corner, drawing perfectly straight lines against the perfectly blue sky. It isn't a church. And as I hold onto the iron grate for balance and take it in above me, it occurs to me that that's entirely the way it should be.

We spend so much time comparing things when the better alternative might be to take things in strictly as they are. Indeed, maybe this doesn't just apply to buildings and other inanimate objects. Maybe I need to spend more time in empty, overlooked places like this.

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