Architectural details are easy to appreciate and observe when you’re in a new place. If you’re visiting Rome for the first time in your life, then chances are, you’ll notice the details of the cathedrals more than you may notice the details of your apartment building at home. Things become invisible the more you notice them and architecture becomes stone and brick when you walk by the same building every day. You marvel in the beauty of a building you traveled thousands of miles to look at but complain at the eye sore blocking any view you may have from your bedroom window. Many aspects play into this, such as the actual aesthetically pleasing appearance of one verses dull colors and boring design of another. One building may have a rich history filled with fantastic events while another was built last week with the purpose of selling people hamburgers.
Still, despite these differences, it can be good to remind yourself to appreciate the mundane around you. Vacations to exotic places filled with beautiful buildings and dramatic histories are nice, but why let the things you see every day disappear?
I look at this building every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It’s right across the building I sit in between classes and I’ve seen it dozens of times.
I’ve never realized the longhorns lining the edges. I’ve never thought about how old the building is or what it was built for. I don’t even know what it’s called.
The first building, though, I know everything about. I remember the day my sister took that picture in New York. I look at the brilliant colors and the detailed windows often, reminiscing back to my time in one of my favorite cities on earth. The picture represents a future I long for and a world I dream about. It’s so more than a building to me. The context it’s in makes it so much more than stone and brick.
But does that mean everything around me, right now, in College Station, TX, is no more than mass taking up space? A stubborn part of me answers yes right away. Another part, the more introspective hopeful part, wants to argue that it doesn’t have to be that way. The world doesn’t have to be invisible until I make an effort to see it.
The details are there. I’m just not always looking.