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The Beautiful Sewer

I enjoy seeing beauty in things that my mind initially overlooks or judges negatively. I was struck by this manhole cover while I was walking on a road near our house in Sedona, and pulled my iPhone out of my pocket to make a photograph of it. I'd walked by it many times, but on this day something inside drew me to look at it more deeply. I realized that I was drawn to the textures and patterns of the metal grate and the contrasting gravel creeping over it at the lower edge of it. The vertical and horizontal bars also make an interesting contrast to the circular shape of the sewer cover, which is matched by the concrete edge of the sewer opening.

Once I got home and opened this image on my computer, I felt the impulse to convert it to black and white so that the textures and shapes had more prominence. Wow - that really made it come alive for me.

When I looked at this photograph as I was writing about it, I saw something else: the word "sewer" could also refer to someone sewing, and the horizontal and vertical bars then could be seen as the interweaving threads of a piece of cloth. A suit of armor, perhaps? :-)

While I don't encourage you to only look at the ground when you're out walking, perhaps you might glance now and then at the earth beneath your feet and see what you discover.

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תגובה אחת

15 באוק׳ 2021

When I first glanced at this semi-symmetrical wonder, I was stricken with the notion of a stylized woven fabric with the word sew-er emblazoned on it, as in "person who sews", but then I realized that that was probably just a function of my overactive imagination. Then I read Paul's comments and realized that he had come to the same interpretation!

I find it fascinating that some unknown cast iron worker from out of the murky past had such an artistic bent to be able to put the time, effort, and creative energy into such an everyday municipal item in such a way that it would be appreciated long after he had departed this plane. Thanks, unknown iron worker!


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