Why do we paint everything? Usually white…
Especially when things get old.
“Just paint over it”, we say.
It’s as thought the cracks, grains and weathered spots are totally unacceptable to us, our best denial of a decaying world.
Because decay is ugly, right?
I walked through an old building being refurbished the other day, and I was struck by the beauty of the walls, run down as they were.
“What’s going on with the walls?”, someone asks.
“We’ll paint them white”, responds the architect.
Everyone nods in appreciation. Problem solved. Because decay is a problem.
But what of the decay of a note, say, of a piano? Imagine if every single note in Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C# minor (or the /moonlight sonata/) never decayed? Well, if you can’t imagine, it sounds kind of like this:
At least in this example it eventually ended, clearing way for your ears and eyes to reset just in time to play your favourite Justin Bieber hit. If you don’t have anything on hand, I’d suggest this one with the strangely ironic lyrics. It’s a banger.
But what if it hadn’t ended. What if everything that ever started never stopped? Every colour, every sound, every smell, every taste, every feeling, arising but never passing away, until swiftly the full spectrum of perception of every being reaches total saturation, allowing nothing to be distinguished from anything else, and nothing new to be perceived.
It’s a fairly grim thought.
So, perhaps the decay is beautiful? The wisdom of time infused in every crack, and every crevice clearing way for something new.
Or, at the very least it means we can enjoy our Justin Bieber without that wretched Beethoven clogging up the damn frequency spectrum.