Some people have a great sense of style and composition. Other people don’t. I fall into the latter category, I think — but I try to appreciate the efforts of the stylish whenever I can.
During our visit to cousin Jeff’s place over the weekend, there were lots of opportunities to exercise that sense of appreciation, because his home is a feast for the senses. It is packed with interesting stuff that commands your attention and seeks to distract you from having normal human conversation. An object catches your eye, you think to yourself “what is that?” and you are off to the races.
Of all of the beautiful paintings, carvings, and objects found at Jeff’s place, I was most struck by an aging Japanese parasol place placed with casual elegance at the intersection of a flower bed and the garage. There was something enormously pleasing about the roundness of the parasol, its weathered appearance, and the contrast with its surroundings. You wouldn’t associate a parasol with the colorful pottery and rough stones, the bushes and the rustling leaves, yet the combination worked perfectly in that time and place and corner of the world. The first owner of that parasol would have been proud.