Finding Art in Unlikely Places

It is the little things in life that give you pleasure

Photo credit Jim Sanders

I awoke one morning to find the windowpane near my bed was a crazy pattern of an irregular spider web. The outer pane of a double-pane window was broken. What caused the window to break?

My first thought was a bird struck the window, and the bird was lying on the balcony floor. I checked, and there was no bird.

When you live in a Senior Community as I do, you report such incidents to the maintenance man, and he replaces the windowpane.

I looked at the window. It was safety glass. The glass that, when broken, will crumble into small granular pieces. Much safer than annealed (non-safety) glass. Yet, this glass stayed in place.

It was “toughened” or “tempered” glass”. Tempering makes it four times stronger on the surface than annealed glass. Made strong by controlled heating and chilling the pane at extreme temperatures.

My window was on the west side of the building. From my viewpoint, in the morning, the seams of the broken glass appear silver. As the day brightens, they resemble golden threads of an irrational spider web. When the full Sun of the afternoon hits the window, I see a stunning view of stars thrown up when the Sun crescendos on the cracks. As the day wears on, the sunlight recedes, the pattern goes back to sparkling silver again.

Darkness fell. I decided to not report this window breakage. I will keep this accidental work of art. I will show it to visiting friends and watch their reactions. “What do you think of my art?”. One visitor said it had Personality. I photographed it in all its moods. It was spectacular to me.

When Autumn came, the winds blew hard against the glass, my art crumbled. Every day my shiny web was less. I reported it to Maintenance. They came and replaced the pane with a new one. They swept up the glass pieces, put them in a bucket and hauled them away, missing only five small pieces on the deck.

Now my accidental art is a memory. I have learned to appreciate the little things that come into your life that give you pleasure.

The pieces remaining on the deck shine like diamonds in the evening sun.

95-year-old Jim Sanders chronicles senior life today and documents their stores before we lose them. Jim has lived in Senor facilities for seven years.