To Whom It May Concern:
I don’t know if I have something to say so much as I just wanted an excuse to show that featured image.
On that front page of Pexels, some number of curators have selected several images that users have uploaded to the site and ordered those pictures so that the page appears to be like a color gradient. As I scroll through, I admire that pretty gradient, and I save any of the pictures that really speak to me by clicking on the little heart icons. Which is to say that I save most of the pictures I see there because I am truly in awe of the job that they do curating as well as the level of talent of people who upload images to the site.
When I write, I usually start with an idea, then write the poem or piece of prose, and then choose a featured image based on that writing, but sometimes I am in a writing mood but find myself fresh out of ideas. In cases like those, I scroll through my collection of likes on Pexels to see if anything triggers my creativity. It was on one of those occasions that I saw the picture you can see at the top of this post for the second time, and by saw, I mean really saw.
On my first glance when I liked and saved the picture, I admired the aesthetic of it: the hues of brown, the way the sunlight falls across the objects in slats. It fit into that gradient of curated images beautifully.
On my second glance, I realized what the objects were. What is an egg doing on top of a brush? And what’s with the other egg beside the brush? Why is there also a flower and a thistle? In what world would this pile of objects just naturally occur?
I love the image more and not less after this realization. It’s such an odd collection of things, but it is still incredibly aesthetically appealing.
I care about aesthetics. I care about the arrangement of things. I care about the colors. I even care about the visual textures that things have.
There is a certain stigma to aesthetic for aesthetic’s sake. Some parts of society will say that a pursuit of beauty is vapid and silly (even while other parts of society demand it).
I don’t buy that argument. There is something so natural in craving to surround oneself in visual beauty. There is no wonder that humans started plucking flowers and bringing them into our own homes to gradually wilt in vases of water however long ago that started happening. And while it’s true that time spent seeking out pretty things can be allocated to other tasks, it is difficult to rank these tasks on value, especially when considering the delight that visually appealing things bring. Going out of our way to do something that makes us happy is itself beautiful and human.
More than all of that, I just like aesthetic visuals, okay. I like pretty dresses, I like shiny jewelry, and I like that random collection of beige items that are shown in the image.
There is almost no way that I will just happen to write something where that image is the perfect fit, so yes, as I said at the beginning, I wrote this letter to no one in particular just to have a place to feature it. I hope no one in particular likes it as much as I do.
Wishing you all the best.