The other day, I pulled over at a wild roadside verge in central Spain on my way back after a few inspiring days of recordings and concerts. Such a roadside verge, with all its colorful splendor, is tremendously inspiring and quickly sets thoughts in motion like airborne dandelion seeds.
After all, it is summertime!
A ROADSIDE VERGE
The European cultural heritage (particularly when it comes to music) is like a roadside verge on an abandoned road somewhere in Spain: diverse, colorful, lavish, anarchic, volatile, easily ignited, and incredibly inspiring! Not far from there, the new highway rushes on in a straight line. There's no fire hazard and no flowers because the drainage system is cast in dull gray concrete.
Could this be a clear and illustrative example of the inevitable decline of aesthetics (or rather, the times)? Another evident sign, perhaps? It certainly exemplifies how many modern buildings and constructions of all kind fail to embrace nature, aesthetics, and craftsmanship as valuable inheritances from our common cultural heritage.
Wild, untamed nature provides a clear glimpse into what awaits us in art. If we dare to venture onto unfamiliar paths and and meandering country lanes, it grants us something in the form of inspiring, extravagant, and rewarding beauty. Or uncontrolled horror! Do we dare to be curious about where the path may curve and what new experiences it can offer us? Are we willing to embark on an adventure that might provide an experience we'll never forget?
There's no fire hazard because the water drainage system is made of dull, gray concrete.
Bestowing us with fantastic, inspiring, and uncontrollable experiences is precisely what both nature and art can do. Yet, we often settle for what is safe and familiar! We follow, without much reservation, the route indicated by the GPS. That route too often coincides with the highway!
However, it is often the spontaneous trips that linger in our memories. It's the unexplored territories that entice us—and for good reason. Let us relish in the wildness, spontaneity, the unknown, and never forget to experience something new—a new branch of the music we love, another visual artist from our favorite era, or that poet we had never heard of before but who actually sounded intriguing. For who knows what stories and captivating aesthetics might await us on the meandering path we have yet to venture upon?
TAKE AN EXIT
And that brings us back to the starting point: the highway is devoid of nature and history, and dull in its uniformity and (lack of) aesthetics. Yes, it gets us from point A to point B more swiftly, but sometimes we will have to ask each other whether the end destination is more significant than the journey itself.