“Hang on, John. I’ll be with you in a second,” my fiancée called out to me, “I just want to finish copying this design.”
“But what for?” I asked, “It’s just a pattern like any other; there are loads of them all over this part of the island. Roman and early Christian ruins everywhere – older than that, even, some of them.”
“Yes, but none with this pattern,” she replied.
“What’s so important about that pattern?”
“How can you ask that?” she said, clearly rhetorically, “Just look at it. Go on. Really look at it.”
I looked. All I could see was a simple pattern that was symmetrical in two directions. Big deal.
“Okay, I looked at it. I really looked at it. What am I supposed to be seeing?” I asked.
“Oh, I could go on for ages about the historical and religious significance of this mosaic, John. I could detail when it was most likely to have been laid, and by whom, and why. I could tell you that it was part of a greater whole and that, as such, it speaks of depths of faith, of tragedies, of battles and of martyrs that would move even you. But that’s not why I am sketching it in such detail.”
“So why are you?” I asked.
“Just stop thinking for a while and look at its artistry. Look at the way the colours complement each other and the way the overall design leads your eye to its central, focal point; and ask yourself: would that look great as a rug in front of our hearth, or what?”
I wrote this story in response to Kreative Kue 19, issued on this site earlier this week.