Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Ayyysthetic Experience

optimistic ocean – heather maskell

pessimistic skyline – heather maskell

So I found this assignment to be a little strange. I was stumped by the idea of being asked to have an aesthetic experience worth noting. In all honesty, this is not an experience from over the break because nothing beautiful baffled me within that two week window. These paintings attempt to convey some thoughts of mine produced by a memory from a while back.

When I was a little girl, I thought ferries was spelt fairies, just like the little people with wings and magic dust. So, being on a ferry (and being too tired to form sensible/rational thoughts,) I wondered if somehow people had mixed the two up. Like people were so enthralled with the idea of a ferry and its wonderful powers of transportation that they passed on the word of fairies and their magic-like ways of soaring over the sea, and all fact and truth was lost in recounting. This thought made sense to me not only because I was exhausted and hardly a person yet, but because people in my day and age had come to the conclusion that the ‘fairy’ fabrication from these stories was a myth. (The existence of fairies was my version of the “is Santa real?” question, as my brother spoiled that one for me when I was not yet 3.) So I contemplated this for a while, whether or not as The Story of the Majestic Fairies was passed from person to person, people wagered with the idea, and decided that fairies must be small to be able to soar, or else their wings wouldn’t be able to support their weight. Or that to be able to perform magic in a way that would really impress people, you’d have to be able to rationalize, so a fairy is probably a person- a tiny person, with wings and magic!!! Don’t ask me where the dust came from, I was like 6, I wasn’t thorough.

Gazing past the railing in awe at a skyline surrounded with endless ocean is where my 6 year old mind must have gotten distracted by other pressing matters such as ice-cream or napping, because the memory of that specific thought ends there.

Over the break I did, however, think on this memory (luckily, because I would’t have a project otherwise.) I thought about how if you can see two completely different things as being the same, then can you have two completely contrasting perspectives of one thing? It didn’t take me long to conclude that yes, you can, even if both perspectives reside in one mind.

I’m going to bestow the title of Aesthetic Fire-Starter upon the skyline / ocean view from that confusing day in my sixth year of life. I do hope you enjoy my pretentious wording. For that movie-like end scene to my memory sparked a whole new realm of thought that could (somewhat) honestly fill a dozen pages of this blog, but if I did that, nobody would read my sad (not-so-) little post. I decided to convey two possible perspectives of the skyline. To a (non) person of my age at the time, the optimistic ocean painting is likely to be more similar to their perspective of that view. Not as concerned with the accuracy of the skyline, but more curious about the wonders of the ocean that they have read about in storybooks under blankets by the glow of a flashlight. Even on a day with cloudy white skies, a child with a functioning imagination and set of eyes would see the colour in this view, even in the nonliteral sense. A child of that age has only seen the ocean so many times, and doesn’t take it for granted like adults do. (S)He wonders how many fish and whales and dolphins and sharks and jellyfish swim beneath them. (S)He probably sees more because less rubbish has clouded their perspective of it as almost inevitably happens to many adults.

The pessimistic skyline painting represents the image that might form behind the dull eyes of a worn out businessman on the same ferry. He’s too busy thinking about how late he’s going to be to his meeting and how he’ll miss the train due to the 10 minute delay at the terminal. He’s stressing about the 10,000 emails he’s going to have to respond to as soon as he has Wi-Fi again. When he walks through the double doors onto the deck for some fresh air and glances around him, he vaguely notices some buildings in the distance, past the white railing. He thinks for a minute about the people in those buildings and is immediately both jealous of and sorry for them. Jealous because those are the kind of important building he’d like to work in, but sorry for them because he knows they worked as hard as he works, if not harder and for longer, and beings to worry about if anything’s worth it. He is ultimately unhappy with his position in his life. He gleans very little joy from his day, probably because he’s always tired because of work. He wants to quit but has to pay the bills somehow. He has momentary clarity regarding the pointlessness of his work, and overall life. He’ll work 20 years more to work in a slightly better setting to work really hard to be accepted and recognized there, and then work some more, and he’ll continue to work until he retires, at which point he’ll be far too old to feel free from the shackles of his responsibilities, because these responsibilities will be replaced with new ones. He decides to move on from these depressing thoughts onto something different, realizing he may be being far too heavy for a blog. He looks to the heavens for an answer, only to realize that the sky is simply cloudy, and holds no answers. He lets out a sigh, and bets to himself that it will rain.

ANYWAYS, I hope you see the picture I’m painting (no, not those,) and the point I’m making. Consult your doctor for the antidepressant that’s right for you! Hope you like the pictures, bye.


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