Across the street from my guest house a fence separates me from this Victorian vision of pastels and the past. Every walk home to Glasgow’s west end detours into a sunset marriage of architecture and light: Glasgow University’s quadrangle and bell tower lording over Kelvingrove Park. Vapors of aged learning paint the cloudbellies the same yellow of the tomes mouldering in campus libraries. The noise of Scotland’s biggest city falters at the park’s bowling green; the clack of bocci balls, the bell’s somber gong, and the clatter of skateboards off in the trees float like dandelion seeds through the peace. Absent here is the noisome, uniform stench of city sewage. Instead, what I call green fills my nostrils as I press my head against the chain-link fence.
When did life lose this artistry? To be stopped dead by visions of beauty must have been our default experience. The sixth sense is the appreciation of beauty. Has it become withered, vestigial? A world of the commonplace, the unremarkable, the unnoticed is a world many try to escape through the act of travel, for these pockets still exist. Though we struggle with the power, the world is a mirror of ourselves. And are we not all artists? Can we not all live more artfully?