Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I was at an Imax cinema with a friend from Europe who was over for a visit. She was hanging around the lobby area where there was a gift shop. I went and stood in line, not liking to take sloppy seconds when it comes to seating.

Three people were in front of me. Two women and a young man around 18 years of age. I assume that one of the women was his mother (perhaps both these days).

There isn't much to do in line except eavesdrop on others and listen to their conversations. The young man was speaking to the one woman and told her that he didn't want to see Paris but he did want to see Rome, "but not with you along," he emphasized, not in a mean way, more in a "I-don't-want-my-mother-tagging-along" way.

What he said next interested me. It interested me because it was more profound than I think the young man realized. And what he said resonated within me as well.

He told her: "I don't much care for natural art. I prefer man-made art."

Given that the Imax was just outside the gates of the Grand Canyon it was obvious what he was talking about. And I totally agreed.

I don't want to say that the Grand Canyon isn't particularly unusual and visually stimulating. It is. But as I surveyed the vast canyon stretched out before me I could see it a colorful mural more than I could a natural feature.

I don't dislike natural beauty. I actually like it very much. And while I can enjoy certain natural beauties I too prefer the man-made.

I could sit at the end of an airport runway for hours and watch the majesty of planes take-off. I assume Homeland Security would quickly put a stop to that in their paranoid fits of bureaucratic harassment however.

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