Grace Notes and Trills

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Louis Comfort Tiffany, ornate glass mosaic fountain Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Give me Shaker, not Chippendale.

Having been raised in a home decorated in Danish Modern, I have always gravitated toward clean lines: painted walls in neutral colors, spare furniture, clean uniform planes.

Possibly fueled by being dwarfed and overwhelmed when my parents ventured out into gothic cathedrals and baroque galleries, I developed a bit of an aversion to the ornate.

I was unsettled by the unnecessary: the curls and flourishes and gilding, the scale and echoing separations within these man-made spaces, the sheer expense involved in generating such tangible adornments.  I don’t like the cold heaviness of rich materials like marble and onyx and iron.

Ornate gate, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts

This has never been so with that which cannot be purchased, a realm in which I adore the trills and grace notes.

Wildly impractical petals and leaves quiver like the flibbers my brother and I would cut from rolled-up Boston Globe newspapers when we were little.

A chorus of cartoonishly plump coral and violet  clouds announces an ordinary daybreak.

Overwrought plumage and intricate songs entice birds’ mates.

On the band field at dusk, my young daughter’s carefully varied breaths add trumpet notes that resonate and dance in the air so I can hear them still.

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Author: Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She attended law school near the the banks of the Charles River and loves that dirty water; she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter and @schnitzelpond on Instagram. Bonus points for anyone who understands the Instagram handle. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2023 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with the wee Wordpress buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.

2 thoughts on “Grace Notes and Trills”

  1. I am of a similar mind as you are on the subject of ornate designs. Clean and simple is my style and I love your last photo for that reason. The yellow and green colors could not be more harmonious.

  2. I suppose I should look up what those wonderful flowers are–I love the way their petals blend into their leaves, like yellow merging into green in a rainbow.

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