Kelly and I were driving up the Bayfront Connector highway, returning home from a quick run to the Blasco Library on the bayfront to pick up a book that I had reserved, when we passed something I’d seen many times before that struck me completely different that day.
There’s a company on one of the side streets (10th, i think) called Lighthouse Construction. Several years ago, probably after the connector went in and they realized the back of their building faced the road, they build a faux “lighthouse” out of wood jutting a few feet out of the back wall of the building. More recently, they added a colorful sunset and some water and waves.
As I drove, I glanced over and admired the mural and I started to think about who commissioned it. Who paid for it? Who painted it? Why was it important to them to do that? Who said to themselves (or someone else): “you know what would look really nice?…”
It’s the back of their building. No customers or vendors enter that way. And, yet, they had someone paint this lovely scene just to brighten up the lives of people just driving by. They spent hard-earned money on a piece of art for no other reason than to put something beautiful into the world.
That is something to appreciate in this world where humans are growing increasingly ugly to one another.
Things like that restore my faith in humanity and remind me that public art really matters. It makes our world brighter, more interesting, and — hopefully — gives us a few minutes of pause in contemplating the complexities of the human life.
About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.