One of the most delicious ways to spend a summer afternoon is propping yourself down on a bench and people watching.
Am I wrong? It feels like the refreshingly unedited version of what we do on Instagram and Facebook every day. All of these individuals walking around sans filter or tongue-in-cheek caption; I’m witnessing behind-the-scenes footage here!
Social media encourages us to edit, edit, edit until all that’s left is a somewhat flat caricature of who we actually are. As a result, we’re more often exposed to and interact with the personas of those in our social networks than we are with the actual humans behind them.
What does that mean for people watching? Oh, baby. It feels indulgent. Because rather than seeing someone’s hyper-edited story online, we get a glimpse of the first draft instead.
Seeing people as they are feels like a privilege today. I live for seeing the familiar glances between two friends before they erupt into laughter; for the briefest moment of serenity sweep across an old woman’s face watching children play; and even for the somber moments, like a fleeting indignant eyebrow raise at a friend’s remark or the quickest roll of the eyes from a couple deciding on dinner.
Seeing people as they are feels like a privilege today.
Half the time, yes, I’m probably completely off base on my interpretations of situations. But, hey, I’ll craft a story from whatever I can get. And through this internal storytelling, I feel connected to the strangers around me. They’re no longer one dimensional characters smiling on patios and going for brunch. With every eye roll or unabashed laugh, I am reminded of the fact that every one of us has a universe full of thoughts, anxieties, dreams & memories all rattling away inside of our skulls. And that brings me some much needed comfort sometimes. It’s like, hey, remind yourself, we’re all figuring our shit out. Daily.
I’m not expecting anyone to put their whole story out there. Our first draft hardly suffices for ourselves; why would we risk sharing it with the world? But, paradoxically, I think there’s something deeply instinctual about wanting to risk it all, to share every last bit of ourselves with someone. Maybe anyone. Perhaps that’s what we’re trying to do through social media, but our nerves get the best of us. We ache to be seen, to let people in, but shy away from sharing the very qualities that make us, well, human.
There’s something incredibly lonely about the fact that no one can see the world the way you do. Sure, it’s beautiful. It’s life! But it’s also frightening. When we tell a story, though, we’re inviting others to see the world through our eyes. We’re saying, step inside my life for a moment. And, just like that, we’re no longer alone.
But, paradoxically, I think there’s something deeply instinctual about wanting to risk it all, to share every last bit of ourselves with someone.
I just think, most of the time, we’re inviting people into a story that isn’t real. The connection we crave, then, is misdirected towards a persona instead.
People watching, in all of its unedited glory, serves as a reminder that these personas only graze the surface of our humanity. Sitting on this bench, I am let backstage to the digital performances paraded about online, and I am reminded that we’re all participating in the same absurd reality. Because with every selfie I see being snapped, I also see the awkward, silly little creatures behind the camera who then promptly turn around to make six thousand chins to their friends.
Next up, some rooms I would like to make six thousand chins in and spend entire afternoons with my friends. (I am so good at segues.)
To some, having a desk at the end of their bed might look like a pair of handcuffs. And I totally get that. We all want to wake up and pretend, just for a brief, glorious moment in time, that our lives really do just consist of solo coffee dates, lengthy bubble baths, and perhaps, if we’re feeling particularly motivated, matinee movies.
Yes, we’ve seen that gnome before… this week’s Wednesday Feast was teasing you and you didn’t even know it. 😉
It’s hard to put your finger on just where in the world his style is coming from. I see Spain, Morocco, France, Belgium, even the otherworldly (I’m looking at you, gnome boy). Yet everything comes together with such clarity. His galleries are a masterfully curated example of this, featuring each corner of the world all at the same time so that we witness one fantastical scene of cultural diversity.
Primack’s playfulness with proportions seems to come naturally to him, too. Where we might expect smaller accents of color, we see paintings, plants, and light fixtures dominating the scene, unabashedly testing our limits.
The result, of course, is an apartment that sacrifices our expectations for relentlessly eclectic fun. Sherlock-meets-Waldo kind of fun. And what’s more fun than that combo?
Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend! Does anyone have any family/solo traditions for celebration? I’m really curious because sometimes they’re straight up hilarious/ I would like to live vicariously through you. For the past three years, Easter has been something of a semi-sweet occasion for me. On the one hand, I have the whole house to myself as my roomies flee to their respective homes, and on the other, I just think about how awesome it would be to have my seat back at home, a huge chicken and mashed potatoes filling my plate as my eyes grow four times their normal size in anticipation of eating.
Regardless, everyone seems particularly chipper during Easter weekend. Tulips, pastel colors, maybe the appearance of sun dresses if the weather permits – Easter really just doubles as one big celebration of spring, baby!
Happy wednesday, folks! If your week isn’t going the way you want it to, press the reset button. Wake up on the other side of the bed. Drink mint tea with lemon & honey instead of coffee. Dab on some red lips. Sprint for two blocks to feel like superwoman. Do a jig to your guilty pleasure on YouTube and then tackle the scariest thing on your to-do list, even if it’s just thinking about it.
Or, enjoy some mid-week inspiration with your wednesday feast.
Gnome, gnome, gnome, gnome, I repeat, gnome in the house
This space is so deliciously lived in. And I love that, because it’s so rare to see.
My instagram feed is stuffed with photos of perfectly curated lives. I trick myself into thinking that this is a reality, and, on some days, that’s nice! But on others, I need a dose of reality that looks more close to home.
I’m not saying this European sun-kissed bathroom looks anything like my reality (maybe it will one day), but it looks like an honest depiction of someone else’s. And that, my friends, is as soothing as that deep, sumptuous bath.
If you are ever in need of girlfriend chats on the way to class, work, coffee, breakfast, ballroom dancing, get on this podcast. I want to be friends with the hosts so bad – they are equal parts hilarious, witty, and feminist. Friend crushing hard.
“Multiple glasses of wine, chatting both confidence and thigh gaps plus menstruation in space. Where have you been all my life, Call Your Girlfriend?” –Holly Gordon (It’s true. The pilot episode features lotsa wine n’ giggles.)
Airbnb is the new food gawker. Okay, so, up front, not at all. But it is safe to say that airbnb is the foodgawker for interior design & travel. I recently found this Victorian gem in San Francisco and now fully plan on trying my hand at the aristocratic life (read: Downton Abbey life) some time.
This illustration brought to you by a mysterious Asian pinterest board-like platform that is only for drawings and illustrations like this! Oh what you can find on internet travels.
Some people might call Wednesday the mid-week slump. I call it the mid-week pick-me-up. By Wednesday, the weekend’s plans are filling themselves in (even if that looks like no plans whatsoever, which is a bonus), I only have two snooze buttons left, and I’m comfortably situated in whatever chaos the week holds.
But… it’s still Wednesday.
That’s why I’ve officially started Wednesday feasts. It’s a multi-course meal of inspiration to start your day off with a pick-me-up. You start off with five-ish delightful samples of interior design that are leaving me drooling (not on your plate, don’t worry), followed by two-ish slices of fashion and a podcast to feed your brain.
Then dessert! Which can be anything, but generally a taste of another blog around the internet. And let’s be honest, we always want more dessert, so just click on the blog to keep on indulging.
And of course, a treat receipt in the form of an illustration.
NPR Invisibilia is the best. Alice and Lulu, quite simply, explore the invisible forces that shape our lives. Okay so perhaps not so simply but the way they deliver these podcasts is unlike any podcast out there – you feel like you’re right there, having a super deep but funny conversation with old friends.
So get ready for a dose of the existential.
I recommend The Power of Categories to get you started, which digs into the nature of categories and our absolute and utter dependence on them to navigate this world.
The Socialite Family recently featured Charlotte & Hugo, a pair of lovers/interior architects/designers. Don’t their names alone already sound unfairly cool? But just wait until you start scrolling. Then tell me about unfair. I mean, just look at Charlotte reclining in that chair, so minx-like, and Hugo striking a pose so nonchalant you could’ve sworn you really did just interrupt them modeling.
Charlotte & Hugo’s home needs no introduction though. After all, this is the first home I’ve seen in a while that makes me want to inappropriately move in with a couple I don’t know just to be like, hey, I’m cool too. And I know I won’t be alone on that one.
The Socialite Family has a knack for tapping into the lives of the coolest families on the globe. Check out the crazy eclectic abode of Mathilde, Jerome, and their little cutie Charlotte here, as an easy example. (Although I think I’d be lying if I said these French names didn’t add a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to their home, too.)
Everybody has that friend who defies all previously held notions of “effortlessly cool.” You know, the one who wakes up in the morning, picks out any of the perfectly classic numbers hanging in her closet and spends a little under five minutes preparing her face for the world. Everything just clicks. They just seem to get things. For me, that friend is Adrienne, the bold-browed beauty smiling coyly below. We’ve been best friends going on a decade, which is half of my life thus far (winning at friendship, to put it bluntly), and she only embodies this stereotype more and more with each year. Should I be resentful? Hell, no, because she imparts her wisdom and unbridled inspiration on me every time I see her. This past weekend, though, my whole idea of my best friend just catapulted out of an ornate ceiling with stringed lights draped from an archway. In short, I visited her house and quickly died, went to the heaven reserved for vintage wares, crisp white walls, fireplaces-in-bedrooms, and historic architecture, and then came back to go for waffles. Her apartment almost brought tears to my eyes. So what kind of girl would I be if I didn’t share with you a home so perfect that I almost cried? Not an effortlessly cool one, let’s say that.
Thank you, Adrienne, for letting me share your beautiful home with the world! It’s almost as cool as you are. (Yay, cheese!) Signing off, *m
Yesterday, I was perusing through some architecture schools, and before I knew it, I was on the streets. Okay, before you panic, let me clarify – I am not suddenly homeless. Nor am I a busker. Rather, I was drawn into the streets (in the most poetic sense of the word), camera in hand, ready to capture what makes the city I’ve been living in for the past few years so captivating.
Quite simply, the architectural beauty that fills the humble streets of Hamilton demanded to be documented.
This city and I, we know each other pretty well by now. My friends and family back home in Vancouver practically guffawed when I said I’d be heading to Hamilton for school. “Good luck with those winters.” “Steel city, eugh.” And just the simple, “Wait, why on earth are you-“. But ever since first year, I’ve been acquainting myself with the many, many pockets of this city that have been virtually untouched by its industrialism. The streets are dripping in history, every ornate architectural facet speaking to a time long gone. Yes, the grizzly sides of this place really are grizzly. The stench of smoke permeates the downtown core, and it’s completely likely you’ll walk by a number of individuals struggling with a crippling addiction, but that side of the city doesn’t illustrate its potential. In fact, Hamilton has acted again and again on its potential. This video articulates what I want to say in epic proportions, and drums up serious Hamiltonian pride.
The grizzly sides, yes, they’re evident. But they’re also just one side of Hamilton. Look around for just a day and you’ll see what I mean. Hamilton’s best sides – the charming, vibrantly creative, and academic angles – are often left out of discussion. And let me be clear: the best sides of a city aren’t necessarily the “photo-ready smiles”, if you will. Catch Hamilton in candid form, and you’ll see young women draped in vintage coats, old men with Dumbledore-esque beards (even one or two literally smoking a pipe), and snappy young folks lingering in some of Canada’s most charming coffee shops. You’ll see a city that is the definition of untouched beauty. And you know what? I think the fact that this city has so many untouched parts to it is what makes it so entrancing. So absolutely vital to catch on camera. It’s as though Hamilton is an old woman who has wholeheartedly embraced her wrinkles as a part of who she is. Every crease that tells a story is so much more beautiful than a woman who has resorted to artificial means to stay up to par to what society expects of her.
And so I did try to catch the worn out sides of Hamilton. That aged quality is unattainable in so many cities today. It’s being wiped out in favour of modernism at every corner. But today? I’m sick of perfection. I’m ready to embrace the untouched world. Here’s a snippet of what I mean.
When the words “I just don’t know what to do with my life” slip out of my mouth, recklessly and often to the wrong person, I always imagine the word fool trailing on the end of their answer. “Just do what you love, fool.” It’s as if I’m being absurdly ignorant to some sort of widespread fact/piece of common knowledge that everyone has picked up along the way – like how to ride a bike, or how to walk, or how to, you know, breathe. The same knowing eyes and hasty shift in conversation generally follow such an answer. Honestly, I should probably leave the soul-searching to myself. Because it’s not just asking about a job; it’s asking about how to spend your whole damn life. And that’s terrifying. I’m also pretty sure that it didn’t just come to someone over night or right out of the womb. (Pleasant imagery on that one. But please do picture a baby whose first words are, “Chief Executive Officer of Nest Labs! Now burp me.”) So chances are they fell into a career and so what words of advice are they expected to give to this hopeful young lass in front of them? “Hah! To be honest I just kinda made my way here through a connection here and there, a lay off or two, and one and a half mid-life crises!” To which my response would be: *faint*. And even still, with the same answer over and over, I know it’s coming, I can see it in their eyes by now – that trademark shift from the ordinary territory of small talk to the uneven ground of embarking wisdom – still, I just can’t help but blurting out the question in the hopes that someone will say… (answer still pending, probably something revolutionary).
In light of this, I am frustrated. An undergraduate student entering into third year doesn’t feel particularly chipper when they think of the job market ahead and don’t even know which market they’re looking at. The whole thing? Is it staying that general for me at this point? Maybe. So my first semi-selfish word of advice to society as whole is (yep, suddenly I’m in the position to give advice to society as a whole – oh, what authority blogging has given me): Take a chill pill on making sure that the leaders of tomorrow “know what they want to do” by the time they’re 18. They won’t. Generally speaking, this whole mantra of “knowing” what you will do with your life a$ap needs to be slowly laid to rest for the sake of every twenty-something’s anxiety levels. And I understand that 20 years old is young. Some of you would probably roll your eyes at the fact that I expect to know what I want to do with my life at this age, but really I just want to have an inkling of an idea about where I should be looking. So this isn’t necessarily about finding a job. It’s about finding this oh-so-elusive “passion”.
Sidenote: I sincerely wish we were all given a year or two after graduation to explore ourselves and the world without hearing the booming seconds of a job clock ticking on by. Sure, that sounds cheesy, but I’m serious. If I were president of the world, it would be the first platform point I’d make. No keeners skipping over your head with their diploma in hand, snatching up the jobs just because they were lucky enough to know what they wanted to do with their life. Oh, no. It would be the most natural next step in the world, and as we all slip on cloaks to signify to everyone around us where we’re at, they would say in voices tinged with nostalgia, “Ah yes. They’re in the exploring stage.” Some would explore every nook and cranny of their hometowns, intent on seeking out every secret that has languished inside the walls they’ve passed, and others would travel far across the world, leaving a trail of their wanderlust behind them. (Sadly, no one would vote for me if this was my only platform point. And the president of the world position is currently non-existent. Look it up. ;))
BUT! I came across some brilliant words of advice (10 Job-Hunting Tips) from the hubby of one of the gals behind A Beautiful Mess for all of us who won’t be wearing exploring cloaks anytime soon. For those of us who know what we love, and have failed on nearly every occasion to try to box that into a career, consider this: Simply do what you’re good at. Not what you like. Because if you are like me, and your “passion” is either a) unknown or b) not going to work out in the long run, then do what you’re good at, and save what you like for a hobby. I know a handful of people who are taking this advice. A friend of mine has, for example, always known that he wants to travel. Not in the way of business-travel, but rather seeing and exploring this beautiful world without it being tied to a career. So he has accepted a career-life of dentistry. Now this is bound to provide him with ample funds so that he can travel to his heart’s content. And I consider this a very wise choice.
But, a couple questions.
What on earth are you supposed to do if you haven’t the faintest clue what you’re even good at? I’m moderately well-equipped in what feels like a lot of areas, but that doesn’t do much for me (or it doesn’t feel that way). It’s like I need to start training right this second to reach that lofty goal of gathering 10,000 hours under my belt in some skill – HTML coding? Painting? Rapping? (Likely.) Of course, I don’t even know which skill would be the best selling asset for a career (other than rapping), because, quite simply, I can’t decide what career that will eventually be.
If you’re following along with my struggles here, then we’re on the same page. Glorious. Good to place to be, eh? (Just kidding, let’s grab some ice cream and turn on Orange Is the New Black.) Well friend, let’s turn to zenhabits.net. The wisest of all my friends (who don’t know they’re friends with me – relationships are a one way street, ignore what others say) and who has always been able to dish out some advice that is much needed. It started with this: how to find your passion. Now if I truly, truly, truly can’t find my passion, I will adamantly head down the route where I hone my skills to absolute supremacy in some area… but for once in my life, I want to be able to resonate with people when they say to follow your passion. I just need to find it. The “just” makes it seem as though this is a ten minute inner quest of exploration, but just with a quick scroll it’s easy to see that this is a much more demanding, but much more rewarding, journey.
I’ll break it down.
He asks the following of you.
What are you good at?
What excites you?
What do you read about?
What have you secretly dreamed of?
Learn, ask, take notes.
Narrow things down.
Banish your fears.
Find the time.
How to make a living doing it.
So the first four questions are easy-peasy in comparison to the latter ones. I’m currently on the five’er. After pondering the first four questions for 30 minutes each (which goes by pleasantly quickly when sprawled on the beach), I’ve chosen the one thing that I’ve never let stray too far from the possibilities of what my future might bring: architecture. But already I feel rewarded with this “inner-quest” because that occupation, future passion, interest, whatever you want to call it, has been validated. The first four questions left me with at least a couple answers that laid the foundation for a position in architecture. And that brought, more than anything, relief. Honest relief. It’s difficult to understand what draws you to certain jobs. Vanity? Fame? Laziness? Simple persuasion? But when I see that there’s a web of skills and interests all weaving themselves into the profession I’ve often considered intriguing, that’s unbelievably satisfying.
Some personal thoughts on the guide.
Try to tie together certain ideas to see which career path they fit into, even if you were never expecting it. For example, I had down that I enjoyed giving presentations, was moderately good at drawing and sketching, and liked working with kids. So, of course, the possibility of teaching tiptoed by and for the first time in a while, I didn’t reject it altogether because I saw that it encompassed quite a few of my skills and enjoyments.
Write down anything you can think of (even if it’s silly). Decipher what it means later. Now don’t force meaning onto it, but at least be open to a message that’s in between the lines. For example, I wrote down, “good at walking quietly.” It’s a true part of me, yes. Now since I’m really good at walking quietly, I could be an FBI agent. Who woulda thunk? (Don’t worry. Such logic did not take place. Just thought I’d show you the extent of how silly you can get with this list to lighten the whole soul-searching mood up.)
Most of all, do not rush this. Some of the best points, most surprising points, were hurriedly written down in the last few minutes. Certainly don’t think of it as a testing situation (can you just imagine if there was a testing period where we had to find out what our passions were – let the sobbing begin), but more so a chance to explore every dusty corner of your brain, where the fog has settled over some truly golden experiences, no matter how small, that could hint at something that changed you and excited you.
Take a “me day” to do this. Go to the beach, your favourite café, stretch it out over a couple days and just start with being aware. I know I don’t go about my days thinking about how to find my passion. God, that would be exhausting. But most days something gets your heart pumping. Write it down. Soak it up.
Also, drop me a line on where your own thoughts are at with this shtuff! I’d love to know how other people are navigating through this. Really, I find it fascinating to see how people cope with the odds and ends of this question, because has it ever really been answered? Stated with confidence, unabashedly, this is how you find your passion?
Finally, thanks for taking a read, if you’ve made it this far. I genuinely hope you don’t go banging your head against the wall at the futility of your reading this. Instead, I hope you felt some pangs of resonance and most of all, I hope you have a lovely, lovely, lovely day.
Lately, I’ve been thinking back to my dorm room of last year. It smells of day-old coffee filters and my perpetually turned on heater that would suffocate any and all visitors. So the ones that stayed I knew must really like me.
*patting myself on back for friend-making strategy*
And even though my parents once told me that they thought of my dorm as jail cell, I grew to really love my bedroom, office, living room, sometimes kitchen, but never bathroom of a dorm. It was another home for me, and nothing less. And how else to make a single room feel like a home but to infuse it with glorious amounts of colour.
Here is an ode to colour, in the rooms that make it feel most like home. Although, disclaimer: sometimes the coziest of rooms don’t rely on bright colours but cloud-like hues of grays and whites, as an example. Definitely not discarding the cozy appeal of those colour schemes, but I grew up in a colourful house, so… a gal’s gotta have colour.
Magnified floral wallpaper will get me any day. I can vouch for the joy floral accents can give you (hint: I sleep under floral sheets and it sets me up for the happiest of slumbers).
That chair is not simply pink. No, it is punk pink. So pink it makes your heart do a little dance, just like the youthful vibe it presents to us.
Eyes first directed towards the toile curtains in replacement of ordinary cupboards. Such french enchantment in a kitchen should really become a prerequisite to any kitchen cooking up crêpes. (Note to self: purchase toile towels at the very least.)
When the back of a sofa becomes the focal point of a room, you know it’s one damn special sofa. The floral detailing, of course, is to credit. Although this room exhibits a total lack of fear towards mixing and matching patterns altogether, so it goes as no surprise that the back of a sofa would be used as the perfect opportunity to give the room that one final hoorah!
Really, I just want those thermoses. They speak to me on the same level as the delicate vase with that beautifully plump flower I would want to wear in my hair everyday.
On a sidenote, please check out Miss Moss’s wedding for some serious eye candy. If you’re like me, upon first glance at that name, I immediately envisioned a pleasant woman, but just enveloped in moss from head to toe. Cool. So, in hopes to confirm this, I zipped on over to her website only to be so much happier with what I found – a treasure chest of posts with designers I hadn’t heard of, playlists, and gorgeous photography to go along with her words. Needless to say, she’s been a favourite blogger of mine for the better part of two years now, and the fact that she is the coolest human being has just been verified by her wedding.
Ever since I posted about the minimalist shelving units by Outofstock, the ones that are suspended in the air with neon steel rods, I’ve become so in love with design that keeps the lines of basic shapes visible. It’s almost as if they leave us with the bare bones of something to come, and yet everything looks exactly as it should. Maybe it’s akin to seeing a distressed brick wall in a finished home. It seems to add an instant injection of history, and warmth, and seeing a creation paused, yet finished.
Hope you followed my ramblings there.
It’s similar to seeing something as minimal as this mirror against such an ornate wall. The unexpected arrival of something so bold in its simplicity gives the room such a kick, as if it hadn’t already with the pair of riding boots standing proudly in the center.
Geometry draped in gold. My mind is going in circles as to why I haven’t dipped everything on my own desk in gold.
Speaking of brick walls, these are perhaps the cleanest, most deliciously white brick walls I’ve ever seen. If there hadn’t been some keen observation towards the eye-catching circular shelves, the brick wall wouldn’t have been on the radar. Just a pleasantly subtle way to wrap the room in an elegant package.
But, of course, the shelves do steal the show here. They add such playfulness to an otherwise entirely sophisticated and elegant room on its own. And, oh my stars, those golden birds. Even this room has caught onto the trend of dipping everything in gold – I’m clearly behind.
That ladder goes up to a roof garden, I hope.
In this case, though, this room may be downright depressing if it weren’t for the distorted lines of the geometric lighting. And yet, perhaps the intention of the designer is to have complete confirmation that our eyes are drawn to the lighting in that it’s more a piece of art than anything. Again, the juxtaposition of two entirely different vibes accomplishes this.
Can I call this mirror adorable? Because that’s what it is to me. A miniature garden for a miniature triangular mirror. A graceful infusion of nature into a soft white brick wall. Goes together like milk and cookies.
And how could I write about “geometry” without bringing up origami? It’s the bare shapes we don’t dress up, which still become a form of equally intriguing art, that entice me. And this workspace would be begging for some joy in light of its almost asylum-like monochromatic color scheme. I want to so desperately throw a bright red clock against the wall.
On the note of insanity (re: asylum reference), I have just emerged out of possibly the most hectic two/three weeks of my academic life. And now, I declare victory. Simply because I have survived, give or take a few battle scars.
Just enjoyed some West African Peanut Soup that I made myself. Please don’t think I came up with that on a whim, because it was all Cookies + Kate. She is a culinary goddess.
Upon my routine scrolling through Pinterest, before the day starts running underneath my slippered toes, I came across an image that reconstructed my face into a look of disbelief. Now this wasn’t disbelief with undertones of horror, or disgust, or omgcanIbuyit, but simply awe. An architectural masterpiece in its simplicity. And yet as I delved further into the story behind this single image, it very quickly becomes something to be marveled at because of the layers upon layers of complexity underneath this minimalism.
Am I overreacting here? A cube jutting out of a cliff, big whoop (aside from the fact that these cliffs are among the most majestic in the world, but hey, maybe that’s just me). Here’s a hint as to why it still deserves a jaw-drop, or a silent approving nod of the head, or even a standing ovation.
You got it. An underground museum dedicated to the remembrance and honouring of the role women play in war.
If you don’t happen to have a small set of skills devoted to reading the near future, that would have been hard to guess. But I think there’s a sense of appreciation to a piece of art that you can’t simply look at and understand in a moment. “War. Women. Peace.” comes alive underground, whereby visitors are able to feel, if only a sliver, of the horrors they are thrust into and the bravery they are forced to manifest.
The exhibit takes the visitor through four stages: past, present, remembrance, and reflection. It seems as though the artist wants to envelop visitors in a new understanding of not only the pains inflicted upon women during war, but the position of courage that is often forgotten when we first address war.
Here is perhaps the most magical part to me. And forgive me for such word choice, as I know “magic” should rarely be associated with something in the magnitude of war. In the context of this museum, the Reflection and Remembrance stage takes you on a path to the at-first-glance minimalistic cube peeking out from underneath the Yorkshire cliffs. Water flows overtop of you, perhaps taking you to a place of reflection and remembrance in the most natural way possible as the waters above you unite with the waters you see before you.
Outside of the context of the museum, if this were to be, say, a house, or a store (which would by no means serve as beautiful of a purpose as we see now), I think “magic” is a fitting word. Because not only have we taken every child’s dream of the ultimate hidden fort and made it into a (multimillion dollar) reality, but its views can make you feel as though you are not a nineteen year old living in a six-person student home, but Superman’s right-wing (wo)man taking a quick survey of her backyard.