Architects are the co-conspirators of the art world, for without them, every priceless, beautiful canvas would be forever grounded.
My dad was a great artist.
Each wall of our family home was a showroom of his life’s work. He taught us that to appreciate art, you must have equally high regard for the wall of its final resting place. Together, the form and function of the architecture on which it hangs either enhances or diminishes the beauty of each placement.
Maybe that’s where it all started for me, I’m not quite sure. But in addition to being an art-lover, I’ve always been a fan of extraordinary architecture and each of its artists.
Because architecture can’t just stop at being beautiful, it also needs to work, make sense, be functional, justifiable and explainable. It is art’s framework.
While the painter can imagine anything and create it on a canvas to be admired, the architect can’t stop there. Its critics wouldn’t allow it.
I am one of those critics.
If I take anything to the grave at all, it’s liable to be a very long list of questions to present to a master Architect who will have a lot of explaining to do.
There was a time when my finite mind attempted answers to all the infinite questions about certain phenomena, countless whys and why nots and general subjects about evil, tragedy and the reason bad things happen to good people. I’m sure I’ve drawn some wrong conclusions and missed some big picture explanations along the way but with the audience of the Master, I expect some answers about its form and function.
I don’t remember if it was a dream or just one of the random thinkings for which I’m famous, but a scenario unfolded before me that was at the very least, comforting and at the very best, became a cornerstone to my faith.
Here’s how it went…
I knocked on the door and was granted entry. That in itself was important, because it meant I’d met all the Architectural requirements. Boldly, I thanked Him and we were cordial, but I was the first to speak. “I have some questions of You, mister.” “I imagine you do,” He said, “but let’s follow the protocol and I promise you answers.” With patience as a virtue and satisfied with the negotiations so far, He asked me to follow the clouds to the left and at the junction, hang a right into the door marked “Blueprints.” I obliged and followed the path, promising to return with my list.
Upon entering, the room was one massive table with rolls of giant blueprints awash as far as the eye could see. “Pull the plans on Miller, Donald S., please,” I heard on the overhead, and a rather large set of the plans was unfurled before me.
Now these blueprints weren’t of architectural structures per se, but of connections and events of my so many years from single conversations long ago with strangers, random smiles and frowns I’d made over the years, all the way to complex situations I’d miraculously survived. Pretty much everything was there, and more than my memory could handle at the time. There were blue lines between the events connecting one to another, to another and to another. Tragic events, beautiful events, and my responses to each. It was, indeed, beautiful. An architectural masterpiece in blue, and every corner, joist and beam was precisely connected.
As I followed the lines of my actions and their effects, the conclusions were logical, functional and made so much sense, my list of questions erased themselves one by one.
I was there for maybe hours, maybe days if time was even a concept anymore. I was humbled and I cried as I saw the effects of my words and behaviors upon others and theirs upon me for all my existence. My entire list was explained away.
Emerging from the room, I made a left down the hall.
“Any questions?” He asked.
The collected curiosities of all my years had vanished. What had made no sense at all had been meticulously penned from the beginning of time in blue with all precise measurements and angles and structurally, was not only beautiful, but sensibly so. All my whimsical explanations had been dismissed as quickly as a fleeting deja vu.
I just hung there, awestruck, finally resting in peace.
And He stood there for an eternity, admiring the beautiful masterpiece on the wall before him.
And for the life of me, all I could admire was the Architect.