I had to get a blood test today because I am going to get a knee operation this Wednesday. Over the check in counter of the blood lab, is a water color – or, maybe, an acrylic – painting of Lake Como.
Looking at the picture, I was struck by the beauty of Lake Como and how that beauty must influence the people who live there. I am drawn to beauty – I think everybody is. When Malcolm Pearson and I went to the Mullin Automotive Museum a couple of weekends ago, there were a couple of cars that just stunned us. We just stood in front of them – awe-struck.
At one point, Malcolm said something along the line of God was there when they designed that car. I don't believe in God but I do believe in Something; I just prefer to use the word Divine. I would really prefer to use Connection or Bridge to the Infinite, but both of those are cumbersome and require too much explanation. Divine seems to work.
I feel pretty much the same way every time I go north down the Waldo Grade and look over Sausalito, the houseboats, Richardson Bay, and across to the Tiburon peninsula. Like Lake Como, it is staggeringly beautiful. I have been over that section of road at least 500 times, and it still takes my breath away. The people who live there, live with that view must be happier than someone living in a slum.
I don't mean always happy or happy just after they got diagnosed with breast cancer, but happier than they would be if they lived somewhere without that view. And it is not just that they are richer. People who live surrounded by the beauty of Lake Como must be happier and, originally, they were peasants; no richer than today's slum dwellers.
As a movie lover, I noticed pretty early that there are two kinds of LA movies: movies that show a beautiful, idyllic, LA and movies that show a seedy, nasty LA. The first is always a happy movie, maybe a romantic comedy, and the second is always a sad, downer movie. I spent a year in Korea, stationed in a HAWK anti-aircraft battery, on a hilltop overlooking the Yellow sea. It was a gorgeous place with staggering sunsets. I remember it with fond memories.
I am starting to think we should spend more money cleaning up slums, planting more trees, painting more bus-stops. I am convinced it would be money well spent. Well spent in that the whole country would be better off.