Broken Window

On the first days of March we were facing the second cyclone (Irina) this year. Though the effects were particularly felt at the center and up north, it has been a week of strong winds and rain. For the first time we had a broken window to fix at home, a very unique event in our lives.

Uniqueness is something photographers search. Recently I was surprised to find, at the hotel where I was staying, a badly rusty door leading to a charming swimming pool patio. The contrast was too singular to be left unnoticed.

Over the last days I’ve been thinking a lot about uniqueness and contrast. Uniqueness requires attentive observation. Contrast means difference, the capacity of recognizing and accepting it.

Admitting differences is the first step to accept that things cannot be perfect all the time. That is very important for someone like me: all demanding, symmetrical and minimalist.

I am thinking interior design, for instance. I like details of my house, created by me, and I hate others (by me, by someone else or just by the circumstances). And I’ve been wondering if rusty doors and contrasting charming patios aren’t, after all, a good principle, because the contrary would be perfection, and, I have to admit, perfection all the time can be boring.

Some of the favorite corners of my house and the reasons why:

1. The art deco lines of the ceiling for its contrast with the cottage feeling of the house.

2. The kitchen table, where I usually eat breakfast (10 or 11 am) and a very late tea-lunch (5 pm). Why? It is cozy and well illuminated.

3. At a certain stage we thought about giving away an old sideboard (aparador, as we call it). After restoration it looked somehow different, even impressive.

4. The patio table, for its size and simple, strong lines. I would like to use it more often, if I had the time for that.

5. The spa area for being a playful concept that is working better than we all expected.

6. The contrast of the greens of plants and trees with the black and white of statues and walls.

7. This corner of the living-room, where sometimes I sit and look at this aquarelle showing two eagles fighting, an anti-war statement of a known local artist. When something is not right in my life, this picture reminds me that nothing is worse than war.

8. A second place of my living, displaying a painting of another popular artist. This one is about family and complements the previous, in terms of opposites, because family is union and war is a consequence of the incapacity of uniting ideas, perceptions, believes, wealth, etcetera.

9. Wherever this painting is, I like the place only for that.

10. A walking shoes room, with a black and white theme contrasting with the colorful interference of my havaianas.

11. This corner at the top of the stairs, especially when indirect sunlight makes the different woods acquire shades of golden.

12. Lately I’ve been falling for two aquarelles hanging on my kitchen. I bought them ages ago but only this year I concluded I picked them because of my father and my mother. In one is possible to see a hunting scene with two dogs (I am not sure if they are setters in English, we call them “perdigueiros”) and two guns. If my father was represented there I wouldn’t be surprised at all. The other is a “natureza morta”, as we call a painting showing only inert objects. In fact, it’s a kitchen table. And when I look at that table, side by side with the hunting scene, I remember my mother, not the mother that I knew, but the other described to me, when she was very young and very beautiful. Despite a terrible cook, she learned how to prepare the game meat to please my father. It was the only thing she could cook. That kitchen table is precisely how I imagine my mother cooking after the hunting. In a certain way, having those two aquarelles is as if my parents were still near.