Friday, February 03, 2006

Raindrops Falling On My Head

Given the current state of the weather, it seems rather appropriate that my musing comes from the rain and the dichotomy between nature and the influence of man, withthe overarcing theme of beauty as a metaphorical umbrella. See, I was walking home late a couple of nights ago, wandering through the rain when I got to the intersection of 6th and Lawrence where the streetlights were shining and cars were occasionally passing through. I could see raindrops bouncing off the pavement, ferocious little ricochets caught in the illumination of headlights. To me, the sight of those raindrops was one of beauty.
The more that I thought about it, though, I started to wonder on various aspects of the situation and, especially after reading the Oscar Wilde piece, to what degree did nature play? The rain was a base of nature to be sure, whereas the lights, the cars, the pavement all were not. If it were to arise singularly from nature, I imagine that I would have to have witnessed rain falling on rock with the moon and stars as my source of light. While that might have been an equally beautiful scene, it would not have been the same at all.
To incorporate Oscar Wilde into these thoughts, were the feelings I felt ones that arose from nature itself, or rather from how art has taught me to feel? Take for instance Hopper's painting Nighthawks ( Even though there isn't any visible sense of rain, I kind of feel like it is a very noir sort of setting where rain might be completely appropriate. So have I taken these feelings and transported them to settings of my own discovery?
Further complications of things came when I wondered whether or not my reaction was completely individual to myself, or if others might not feel the same way. Granted, there is little doubt in my mind that inhabitants of desert areas would feel completely different about the rain than those who live in areas frequented by monsoons. Maybe I'm just overly romanticizing the rain and that is all there is to it. My own personal beauty.


Blogger chapman said...

I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thinking of beauty as a metaphorical umbrella is a great notion. It reminds me how personal the concept of beauty is. Also, going along with Oscar Wilde’s essay the nature’s rain, you took the time to really see rain. Looking at the rain it is meaniningless beyond its physical properties, but Seeing the rain opened a door for you to discover the beauty of the rain. The beauty of the rain is personal to you and the beauty that you felt is something that is particular to your experiences with art.

If I had been walking with you would I have seen the beauty of the rain that evening? I might have seen the beauty in the rain, but not the same way you saw it. Beauty is too personal to be experienced the same way by two people.

4:55 PM  

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