The Bottle Rose

The Bottle RoseOkay, I’m guessing a lot of you reading this are good old American pragmatists. Actually, I consider myself a poster boy for exactly that philosophy. And, I’ve often thought, that’s what makes us different than a lot of places like; oh I don’t know, maybe....Athens, Greece around 400 B.C. Guys in toga’s sitting around discussing the great truths of existence, the eternal verities, laying on long white marble benches and eating grapes. No, that’s not for us over here, heck many of our ancestors were Puritans, hard work, any work, make it work, whatever works. An aesthetic that was, think of Shaker furniture, form follows function, and all that. It is the case with me anyway, that I usually ask a critical question before plunking down a few bucks on any given item, and that question is: “Well, what am I going to use this for? To what end is this economic exchange achieving?” A good, honest, and reasonable question, one to which I usually have a ready answer: Most often not in the affirmative. And so it was a great surprise to me, when visiting the city of Madison, Wisconsin for a weekend, cruising through one of the many fine stores in that city, that I beheld before me, sitting quietly on a shelf; rays of sunlight beaming through the glass, yes my dear reader, there before me, was the object you see in the photograph accompanied by this essay. Smitten, is a word that comes to mind, struck, riveted, and bewitched, would also work to convey my intense reaction to this rose colored bottle. The proprietor of the store, sensing my attraction to this work of art, told me it was, nominally, a perfume bottle; however, this bottle was hand blown by a glass blowing artist, and hence the higher price. The upshot being that I bought it. My wife chided me good naturally, commenting, “You don’t even like perfume, even on me!” and, yeah, that’s true too. However, there I was, the self-declared pragmatist, purchasing an object that would never serve the use for which it was intended. I was in clear violation of the pragmatic code, or was I? Because I knew, even as the bottle was being wrapped, that I was going to try and do justice to its beauty by doing my best to capture its shape, color, and luminescent way it plays and refracts the light. Yes indeed, to celebrate its beauty through lens and light. So that’s the story of the photograph you’re looking at and, I might add, it’s just one version of it. As to whether or not this endeavor would be considered a pragmatic, rather than a frivolous acquisition, I will leave for you, esteemed reader, to decide.