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.