Friday, February 4, 2011

An Indelible Mark

This week, with the passing of a dear family member and the six month anniversary of another dear friend, I was reminded about our mortality. At some point we all reach the finish line of life. It arrives either with sudden shock and loss, or is defined by a gradual letting go of this world. And as we arrive at the finish line, we will have had the ability to leave a lasting legacy, a vivid memory of ourselves.

The more engaging and intertwined our lives have been, the larger the legacy, the more timeless the memory that we leave behind. Hopefully, throughout our lives, we have all been enriched by many wonderful and unforgettable people who have made an impression, an indelible mark on us. In having known them, they may have elevated our lives with their special connection and significant meaning. They may have changed our understanding of love and friendship; and we are certainly better for having known them.

Certain buildings and spaces too can be such powerful experiences, that they too leave their indelible mark upon us. With that impression, they become timeless, enduring, and sustained in our memory. These buildings enrich our experiences bringing beauty and aesthetic awareness to the forefront.

There are certain buildings that etch themselves into our minds.

The Santa Maria della Salute in Venice, that sits afloat the water, defying its weight and looking as if delicately placed upon a sheet of ocean, is extraordinary.

The carved out Italian plaza amidst a sea of buildings

An ethereal interior

Searching for depth and meaning in our lives is essential to the human experience. People and spaces can come into our lives, that literally inspire and change us. It is this quest for significance and personal fulfillment of not only our physical needs, but those needs of our souls as well that can transform a mundane existence to a life that is profound, authentic, and unforgettable.

1 comment:

  1. Relating a human being's lasting mark on the world with a "building's" lasting mark on the world (I use quotes for building because it's not just buildings, but spaces, landscapes, etc.) is interesting. When does a building move from mortality to immortality? Is it once construction is completed (human creation is done)? Is it once a generation has passed? Is it after some longer period of time? At some point a building transcends from living to "eternal" living...when is that?