Monday, November 28, 2011

Diamonds in an Alley

I tried to find a photograph to depict the moment I will describe, and even though this one was taken during the day, it's the best I could find.

Early September I was walking home at night through an alley (no, I was not alone, in case you were worried) and actually had a moment where I stopped walking to witness how mesmerized I was by the ground beneath me. For about thirty feet or so in front of me lay a dust of miniscule diamonds embedded in the cracks of the asphalt and shimmering under the artificial light of a streetlamp. No, they were not real diamonds, but of course tiny shards of glass from broken liquor bottles that must have been there for quite some time. The shards seemed to be dug into the ground by tires from cars, deceptively serving as one of the materials used to pave the road. For someone who just wanted to get home as quickly as possible on an unusually cold fall night, I remember that alleyway quite vividly and how I deliberately stopped walking to take a better look. I still recall how amused I was at something as familiar as broken glass that seemed to serve an aesthetic purpose for an otherwise bland backdrop. I have realized that I enjoy being fascinated by objects that aren't by themselves supposed to be beautiful. If put in the right place, an ordinary object becomes anything but. Perspective is everything.

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