This piece of cornice, carefully fitted into its place in the stone wall, still stuck out like a pair of brown and white saddle oxford golfing shoes in a closet full of Air Jordans; yes they are all athletic footwear, but the similarity ends there. I’m not certain what kind of stones make up the bulk of the wall, granite I think, but the carved conice looks to be limestone. It could have been quarried nearby, the saw marks still show, but that doesn’t matter. The point is that no matter where the stone cutter thought his work was going, there was no way he could have forseen this.
We may think we know what we’re doing in our work, in our lives, but there is no way we will ever know the far reaching effects of what we do. Our work will persist in representing us in ways we can’t conceive, and our lives will affect people we’ve never known in ways we can’t imagine. This may sound like a call to take your work more seriously, to live your life with more purpose, but it isn’t. How can we know that the serious work is the best? That taking a more serious approach to life is the one that leaves the best legacy? Just maybe, the best thing to have people remember us for is how much fun we got out of life; how much we enjoyed what we did and how we lived. Perhaps, if you feel compelled to work hard, you should work hard at enjoying what you do. Just a thought.
p.s. I’m embarrassed to admit that I had occasion to look at this image at high magnification and it now looks to me that the cornice might be moulded concrete. That doesn’t change my point, however.