Thursday, August 03, 2006

Just One Beautiful Thing

An exhibit of photos of "Old Paris" was being held..

There were about 100 photos by three photographers, all shot between 1930 and 1960. Most were black and white.. A few employed color, but minimally.. Many were nighttime shots. The overriding sentiment was nostalgia..

I am leery of nostalgic art because it can so easily be sentimentalized. But though these photos were beautiful and even wistful, they were also austere. There was one - a shot of an old building, illuminated by streetlights, in front of a rain-wet cobblestone road - that made me linger..

"I wish I could have taken that," I thought..

Then I thought, "But maybe one day I can do something like it. It isn't likely to happen anytime soon. But if I take a hundred or a thousand pictures, one of them might be great. So why not try?" ..

Point is, we are here for only a short time.. The candle is lit.. It flickers.. And it's out.. Wouldn't it be good to know that you have left something behind that is beautiful….???

Admit it. Wouldn't it good…??? You don't have to be an artist to have that ambition.. I am talking about leaving behind one beautiful thing.. Not a dozen masterpieces.. Not a body of solid, serious work.. Just one beautiful thing..