We live in a small Florida town that was forgotten by growth promoters sometime in 2008, and I’d apparently gone blind to that particular phenomenon. Last week, I found myself in a suburb just north of Atlanta and was overwhelmed by the wall-to-wall and back-to-back river of stores, all of them shiny-new franchised businesses, all overflowing with stock. There were no clues, not one homegrown establishment and nothing unique to the area. You could drop me from the sky into one of the ubiquitous strip mall parking lots, and I could no more figure out where I was then fly to the moon.
The debate about consumerism vs the economy aside, I’m wondering if a steady diet of aesthetic sameness might, over time, damage one’s spirit.
I’ve always been one to seek beauty in nature and in serene pastoral scenes, but nature and farmland do not generally stand a chance when growth is a possibility. So, perhaps it’s time to look elsewhere, to find a substitute. I could train my eye to appreciate (and maybe even my spirit to be recharged by) a shrill suburban homogeneity. After all, it doesn’t seem to be a limited resource.
[iPhone photo made at Party City, Perimeter Village, Atlanta, finished in Snapseed and Photoshop.]