I laid the Hyundai to rest last week. Yeah, she had major mechanical issues going on (not to mention all of the exterior bumps and bruises) and I think given another month or so of opportunity, she would've simply died on me (probably during rush hour at a major intersection). So last week I made the hefty decision to get a different, less troubled, vehicle.
The whole process went surprisingly smooth - well, as smoothly as any major decision involving a large dose of commitment can go I guess. The car salesman was very friendly and as this lengthy car buying/car trading process commenced, we would chit chat, naturally. For instance, he learned I was from Pennsylvania and he confided he was from Poughkeepsie, so of course we talked about snow. Just light, easy banter...casual conversation to avoid any awkward or uncomfortable silences. He shared anecdotes about his children. I smiled and nodded.
Then, inevitably, at some point he brought up my occupation.
Him: "So you're an architect? *big smile* I thought about being an architect for a while."
Him: "That must be fun. Do you enjoy it?"
Me: "Yeah I really do...of course, there are aspects of it that don't suit me, but generally it makes me happy"
Him: "So what made you decide to go into architecture?"
Whoa! Okay, listen buddy! we are having a LIGHT, CASUAL exchange of words here to pass the time: ya know, weather-esque sort of conversation! I sat there for a minute thinking how to answer his question in a few short conversational words instead of launching into a long, philosophically-oriented monologue. I didn't really want to answer. I know he was just being friendly and polite, but that is a heavy question for me - a question I don't want to be flippant about and address with a casual, off-the-cuff answer.
On the other hand, I also didn't want to explain to him how I have a degree in art and how my passion and respect for visual art developed. How I became fascinated with installation art and land art. How I spent my evenings drawing pieces of the human skeleton in an effort to understand structure. How I would pause to admire the solidness and mystery of a door and suddenly need to sketch it. And how I eventually came to the realization that architecture, of all visual art forms, has the greatest potential to profoundly impact our everyday lives.
Architecture is powerful. And I am drawn to that power. Architecture is invasive. It's not an art form that can be safely kept out of our sphere behind closed museum or gallery doors. Often times it's not even something we have a choice about experiencing or interacting with. Architecture is confrontational - not always aggressively so, sometimes gently, benignly, even affectionately. Architecture is a rare hybrid art form - each element contributes to a delicate balance of functionality and pure art. Developing and maintaining that fine line is exciting. Working with the kind of potential that architecture offers is exhilerating. It feels epic, it feels like being a part of something greater than yourself, that could really matter.
So, Mr. Car Salesman, that, in a nut shell, is why I decided to go into architecture. Now, what about this beautiful weather we've been having lately?