Buying dinner food in the supermarket a short time ago, I ran into Dave, a former news photographer at the paper where I once worked. Both of us, in different ways, had been eased out the same door. Dave had one daughter (of two) tucked into the rolling grocery basket and was waiting his turn to check out. I stopped to say hello.
We chatted a bit about the latest unfortunate happenings at the newspaper and then I asked him how things were going for him. The last time I ran into him in the supermarket, he was about to start a job with some 'green' company that was into solar panels or something similar. He said things were OK ... he was now the chief traffic enforcement officer in the small city where we both live. The pay wasn't much, he said, but the benefits made up for it.
As I left the store, I thought about the beautiful -- literally beautiful -- pictures Dave had taken during the time when we were both at the paper. It takes a good eye and a good heart to take good pictures and Dave had taken some good pictures.
And now he was hip deep in what I imagined to be parking tickets...no need for a good eye or, necessarily, a good heart. Just parking tickets. Parking tickets to feed and care for his family. In hard economic times, it was steady, assured work ... steady assured income ... steady, assured peace of mind.
Beauty is an expensive commodity. Beauty has its prices. And not everyone has the capacity to create what is beautiful. I suppose the stocks and bonds that sent this country into a tailspin have a beauty to some people, but do they really make their hearts soar or do they simply inflate the ego. Beauty has no ego. Beauty has no price sticker.
But two daughters can be truly beautiful creations.