Stairs Are for Climbing

posted by Sharon February 28, 2012 16 Comments
Getty Museum

Do stairs fascinate you the way they do me? These elegant stairs are in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The architecture of this museum is as much an artistic masterpiece as the art housed in it.

When we rounded a corner and found this massive stairway, my husband asked if we should go up and see what art was at the top. “Yes, we should go up. We should go up because we should climb these stairs,” I answered without even thinking. Whatever waited at the top was not relevant to the decision. “We should climb the stairs because they are there.”

Stairs are there to take us somewhere. So we should go, whenever we can. I’ve climbed the picturesque spiral stairs in the Sistine Chapel. I’ve tromped up 284 stairs in the Arc de Triomphe and watched the traffic far below swirl around this monument. I’ve mastered the 234 stairs in the Dome of Sacre Coure to be rewarded with a panoramic view of Paris, the City of Light. At St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, a special treat came in the middle of the climb up 530 stairs — we found ourselves in the Whispering Gallery, famous for its acoustics that allow people to whisper and be heard over a vast distance.

One of my earliest memories of stairs is of those outside my Grandma’s house, leading up to the neighbor’s above her. This neighbor was the meanest man in town (at least in the imaginations of my cousins and me) and we dared each other to mount the dark, rickety staircase shadowed by looming trees and knock on his door. Which I did. And then I ran terrified down the stairs and around the corner before Mr. Meanie could answer. Those were stairs that made my heart beat faster for reasons beyond the physical exertion of climbing.

The thing about stairs is they go two ways. Up and down. Like life. Some days we’re full of the exhilaration of the climb, and other days we’re running down, fleeing from some promised pain, real or imagined. Some stairways are filled with light, like those at the Getty, and some are covered in shadows and foreboding, like my childhood experience.

What “stairs” are you on today? I hope that you look at the climb and trust that you’re heading somewhere with a rewarding view. Don’t be afraid; don’t turn and run away from some imagined bogeyman. Continue on, letting the light stream in.

 

 

 

 

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday, Leigh vs. Laundry, and Texture Tuesdays, where the theme this week is the color white. The photo of the Getty Museum is processed using Kim Klassen’s texture, Revolution.

 

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16 Comments

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Susan February 28, 2012 at 6:14 am

Amazing!! This was awesome…

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Sandy February 28, 2012 at 6:14 am

I had to laugh at your story about Mr. Meanie who lived above your Gramma lol.
I love your story about the stairs, I feel the exact same way, and I too love stairs and I am fascinated by them too 🙂

Wonderful Photo!

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little macaroon February 28, 2012 at 6:20 am

What a lovely post (found you on my3boybarians)! I suffer terrible vertigo, but I can’t resist stairs. St Paul’s Cathedral dome is my favourite climb so far – and I loved climbing the leaning tower of Pisa (but was reduced to a wobbling, gibbering, weepy mess at the top – far too scary, too leany, and with very minimal barricades in my dweebish opinion!)

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Desirae R February 28, 2012 at 7:05 am

I have never really thought about stairs in this way. Thanks for a different perspective.

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Cedar February 28, 2012 at 7:59 am

Those are super cool stairs!

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Life Images by Jill February 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

love all the repeating and leading lines – the circular pattern of the stairs – and the angle.

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Nics Cahill February 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

This line is tremendous – “We should climb the stairs because they are there.” – powerful in the extreme. I love this line, and am going to try to live it. Great photograph as well. Happy Tuesday.

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Molly February 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

Stairs are a pathway that lead to other levels… they must be taken or else you are doomed to ride in elevators or your life and so many views of life are missed in an elevator.

Mollyxxx

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emily February 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Very Cool…the image reminds me of the MC Escher painting.

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secret mom thoughts February 28, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Beautiful photo of the stairs. It makes me a tad dizzy though.

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Mira March 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

That’s an inevntvie answer to an interesting question

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Sue February 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

I agree. Stairs are a challenge. And I loved reading your thoughts about them…and life.

=)

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robin February 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm

i am always opting for a day of the stairs going up. but occasionally, you are right, you get the down ones. great post!!!

just BE.
robin.

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Yvonne Michelle February 29, 2012 at 5:14 am

I’ve never been to that museum. Your shot of the stairs is just gorgeous. Your photo is both unusual and beautiful all at the same time. It makes you wonder just where the journey will take you!

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angela dunn February 29, 2012 at 7:22 am

What a great post, and the staircase is amazing.

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Wanda March 2, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Today? I feel like I’ve stepped off a treadmill, and I’m ready to enjoy the weekend. My favorite stairs story relates to the polished banisters in our Catholic elementary school. The kids liked nothing better than to slide down the banister instead of taking the stairs, and you can imagine the kind of trouble we got into when we did that!

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