Monday, January 8, 2007

Contrast and the Country

One of the most important things that I learned about design in school is the power of contrast.

In typography, in texture, in size, in color. All of these things are the ingredients for shocking and new beauty in my opinion. And this concept can apply to all sorts of things besides design.

Fast forward from art school to this past weekend. We went up to the country on Friday to escape the noise and insensitivity and filth of the city. Driving in the rich country darkness and arriving way after check-in time Friday we found our key in an envelope under a mat in front of the door of room 2. The envelope was wet from the rain and the script Welcome! was beginning to run. How sweet.

We spent all of Saturday enjoying the unseasonably warm weather and walking around the quaint small town we were in, art galleries and vintage stores. Bells tinkled as we opened door after door of adorable shop and were greeted each time by an eager and sincere salesperson who chatted with us about the unusual weather and asked us where we were from. Maybe I could live in the country, I thought? Why not?

Then we decided to drive way out of the town we were in and stopped in another town and went into a flea market. It was a sea of useless, sad, people and items all placed out on plastic white tables drenched in the dim yellow light of my 3rd grade cafeteria. The woman who sold knives was wearing a jean vest and was young and toothless. Two men sat behind the Kiss paraphernalia booth, just in case business picked up and one had to ring someone up while the other bagged the items. A family of three all dressed exactly as if they had stepped in moments ago from 1962- 2 women in hats, man in nifty small suit. We decided to leave.

Of course I would like to think that everyone has a place somewhere and has a different beat of life, but this experience was depressing. I stared out the window on the ride home, watched the bare trees rush by and I thought about my place, as usual.

When I arrived home my apartment never looked so good and I could not wait to go to my wonderful rewarding job on Monday and to ride the bus with people with nice teeth and to see no darkness at night.

We need contrast; for its beauty, for its new perspective, to appreciate things and to be refreshed.

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”-Anne Bradstreet

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