The Beauty

La Voz de Galicia – August 25, 2023 →

Cristina PatoThere are times, when my friends who are not from the country come to visit, I learn anew how to explain many of the things in our surroundings that are already normal for us, like for example, the urbanistic disorder of cities or the abandonment of the rural. And I say «learn» because depending on the age of the visitor, or of their social or cultural life, their way of formulating questions about the reason for that situation that leads me to construct different kinds of answers at the moment, all of them more or less improvised, more or less informed. But it is the questions of those who come from outside that make me reflect more about the normality of the buildings that don’t aesthetically fit in at the city center, in the fallen houses in the middle of any village, of the impossible brick walls seen both in the rural and in the urban…

The other day, with one of these friends, I surprised myself by trying to answer the question regarding «the moment that we stopped taking care of the beauty of our surroundings.» Suddenly, I thought about my family and in how many years we took to cover the exposed brick in the village home and the reasons that we took so long, or about the complex project that was changing the windows at my mother’s house in Ourense’s historic city center so that they would match the strictures. And with all of that in my head, I heard myself say: «sometimes, taking care of beauty is a luxury, and not everyone has the means to do it.» And as soon as I said it, I started thinking, and I wrote down my words because I am not sure whether that is what I think about the subject. What is clear to me is that this visual reality is a part of who we are, and it defines us; in some way, each time we ask why, without judging, we help ourselves understand each other a little more.

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