Thursday, March 3, 2011

Leif's Sense of Beauty and Aesthetics

Leif would sometimes maintain that he didn't "understand" jewelry, or things that people acquired simply as decor. He insisted that he loved the beauty of well-designed functional things, whether a gorgeous car, a snazzy motorcycle, a beautifully designed computer, a "cool" cell phone, or anything else of that kind. Furniture he could find both comfy and beautiful, and he had a great sense of style in clothing when he was younger and slimmer, and cared. He also could have made a fine art student if he'd had the interest to develop his talent, but it wasn't his burning interest.

However, I used to like to argue with him about his assertions concerning decor, jewelry and the like, because when he found something that truly "spoke" to him, he went for it. For instance, he picked out one of the most beautiful diamond ring sets I've ever seen when he wanted to propose to J. He wore jewelry on occasion; earrings and necklaces when he was young, and still wore the Greek double battle axe necklace I brought him from Greece up until he died. He loved stylish, fancy watches, too. And he decorated his walls with swords and a print he bought that he very much liked.

So, in a way, his assertions were contradicted by his behavior and his taste, but in another, they weren't. He liked to purchase things he could USE, and those he wanted to be the best and not just functional but aesthetically pleasing. His fine taste was one of the things that helped to put him in debt, as he apparently couldn't resist expensive things he could not afford if they fit into his scheme of desire-functionality-design.

These photos were taken when we were living at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, I think, when he was in ninth grade in the spring of 1990, age 15. He was just beginning to let his hair grow longer. His ears weren't pierced yet, but it's surprising to me that he is wearing a cross. He was never religious, never a believer. I wish I knew the story of why he wore it.

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