Monday, November 2, 2009

Rainy day, San Marco

I ended up crossing San Marco on a rainy day. Much of the square was flooded, as was the atrium to the basilica. You entered on passarelle, the raised walkways over the water, but the line was short and I decided to see how it looked.

The experience is always astonishing. I had some questions I knew only Ruskin could answer and so I began rereading "The Stones of Venice," which is where I came across this which I have begun to truly understand:

""This looks somehwat like pride; but it is true humility, a trust that you have been so created as to enjoy what is fitting for you, and a willingness to be pleased, as it was intended you should be. It is the child's spirit, which we are most happy when we most recover; remaining wiser than children in our gratitude that we can still be pleased with a fair colour, or a dancing light. And, above all, do not try to make all these pleasures reasonable, nor to connect the delight which you take in ornament with that which you take in construction of usefulness. They have no connection; and every effort that you make to reason from one to the other will blunt your sense of beauty, or confuse it with sensations altogether inferior to it. You were made for enjoyment, and the world was filled with things which you will enjoy, unless you are too proud to be pleased by them, or too grasping to care for what you cannot turn to other account than mere delight. Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies for instance; at least I suppose this quill I hold in my hand writes better than a peacock's would, and the peasants of Vevay, whose fields in spring time are as white with lilies as the Dent du Midi is with its snow, told me the hay was none the better for them."


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