Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Grotesque and the Beautiful

While I’ve been contending with the tedium of painting my four porches’ railing spindles over the past week, the world has continued its drunken careening, politically and culturally.  I’ve only casually glanced at the goings on, and these mere glances have compelled me to prefer the tedium of painting railing spindles over the world’s drunken careening.

But there is beauty in the world, and when it shines it clearly defines the grotesque.

The grotesque is defined in the statue of Marilyn Monroe which went up in Chicago this past week.  A 26 foot, 34,000 pound sideshow freakishness.

But there is beauty in the world, and it comes to us in the object of a tree stump, and the words of an older gentleman living at Clark Retirement Community.

The stump.


The words, verbatim, as written and given anonymously to my good friend and stump owner Pfeif who lives directly across the street from Clark.

During a recent garden tour around our neighborhood, I notice a tree in the front yard of a house that is located across the entrance from our Retirement community.  The tree that had lost its leaves some time ago was cut back to just a trunk.  The owner has stripped the bark away and the remaining trunk showed a copper tint for some months.  Now the trunk is showing a greenest tint and is still in the front yard of the house.  I reason that I’m writing this is to explain an “aha” moment when I realized that this tree, though thought to be dead has been showing an inner beauty that couldn’t be seen until the outer covering had been removed.  Much like the residents of our community who are losing some of the outer coverings (sight, hearing, loss of movemnet, etc.) yet what is appearing is a newness of life in another form which has a beauty all its own.  Enjoy the newness of life every day and remember the Tree.

We are uncertain of the gentleman’s name who wrote the above, and his age, but his “aha” moment is insightful and beautiful.

I’m wondering if the gentleman who wrote the above is in the Clark Retirement Community LipDub video (6:23) which just hit the internets?  I hope he is.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/17 at 09:13 AM
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