Posted by: lisetta | August 31, 2008

Honoring the visual

Disclaimer: this post has little to do with food. I’m finding that my mind’s increasingly called to other thoughts. 

Spent the afternoon with my ‘mind engaged in a rapt contemplation‘ … of physical and visual beauty, how we define it both culturally and individually, and how we create it, through happenstance or our own will. Restless with my living space, I’ve become increasingly interested in creating beauty mindfully, through a backward design process driven by a priori desires rather than circumstance.  Wandering the aisles of the furniture showrooms, though, I once again found myself in una selva oscura ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Wasn’t I just here last year

I think I’m trapped in a koan of my own making. The problem with applying the backward design approach to my lifestyle lies largely in the difficulty of accepting the reality that the objectives I tend to define are unattainable … this time with furniture shopping. Read metaphorically and you’ll get my point.

The first sighting of the Andaman bed a few weeks ago stopped me in my tracks. Its design resonated deeply, not only because it was so close to what I had already decided I wanted to find, but also because it was imperfect in my mind’s eye: an ideal line in the headboard, but attached to a low profile base. I felt pleasure simply staring at it. How could I have possibly known that it was Italian? (Designed by Paola Navone, an architect trained at Turin Polytechnic — just like Carla and Chicca!)  Now that I’ve synthesized its visual beauty with a deeper understanding of the lifetime of design work its lines represent, I only appreciate it all the more. Only problem is that its cost ($13,700) allows me only to observe from afar. 

Slipping into observer mode comes naturally when I encounter the visually appealing.  I’d like, however, to learn to engage with the visual, defining my own visual aesthetic and creating beauty on my own terms. Perhaps this path will eventually retune my visual aesthetic towards objects that are actually attainable. I’ve spent so much of my life attuning to aesthetics of taste, touch and sound, I realize I need a Virgil to appear to guide my wanderings in a visual world. 

Just as these thoughts were forming, Francis called. He says was heading towards the Highland Park Reservoir for a walk with his girlfriend, and called because I ‘popped into’ his mind. Bravo. Sometimes the most wonderful thing about connected friendships is that your friends seem to appear at exactly the right moments. 🙂



  1. That is a gorgeous bed. The way you described it, I had envisioned something a bit more traditional. I love that low base.

  2. I love the modern lines, but fear that if I get one piece with them, the rest of my bedroom will look even worse than it does now. I wish I could care as much about furniture as I do about food!

  3. Try checking ebay and craig’s list. Kimberly finds her joys there/

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