Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The importance of drapes

Let's talk about drapes, shall we? (Warning: spoiler alert for The Death of Ivan Illyich by Tolstoy)


One day a successful Russian man, Ivan Illyich, decided to put up drapes in his house. While he was on the ladder hanging the drapes, he fell and hurt his side. At first, he didn't' think he seriously injured himself. But, as the pain in his side grew and grew and grew like a ginormous monster banging on his ribs, he became more impatient and irritable towards his family. Eventually, he saw the doctor, and the doctor realized that this malady would kill Ivan. His family and the doctor skirted around the issue of his imminent death. And yet Ivan was undoubtedly cognizant of his impending doom. In the end, Ivan died.

Moral of the story: If you hang drapes, you will die.

BUT! Ivan hung new drapes in order to "keep up with the Jones'" — not to make his house a home or to add beauty and vitality to his (and his family's) life. He hung new drapes to keep up with the anonymous other, not to make himself and/or his family happy. And yes, drapes can make a person happy, in case you were wondering.

If a person likes a certain chair or a certain car or a certain pair of shoes or a certain anything because of its status in the outer world — that is, because of its importance to the anonymous others — the object(s) will be rendered useless and will, most likely, cause unhappiness. However, if a person likes a certain chair or a certain car or a certain pair of shoes or a certain anything because of its aesthetic beauty or its sentimental value, the object(s) will be meaningful, and therefore of worth.

And now a beautiful and interesting photo. Why? Because it makes me happy, and it inspires me. Who knew a railroad track could be shot like this and not like the typical senior portrait where the person is walking or trying to balance on the rail?


1 comment:

JeHad.Has.Have said...

I really like this and agree. For the most part, my style of clothes and anything else i purchase is not something that would be worn by people I associate with. I buy those things because I personally picked them out and enjoy standing out a bit I guess. I feel happy at least.

p.s. I hate railroad senior pics haha