A map’s cover page and the meaning of life

http://www.blogto.com/arts/2015/03/lees_palace_mural_designer_hired_by_the_ttc/

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This piece of art caught my eye on the subway today morning. It’s a ttc map. The concept of a public transportation map isn’t new or unique. I often consider these to be a waste of paper. A burden on the already over stressed environment.

If I want to know where to get off or on I can just refer to the maps conveniently displayed everywhere within the subway car. If I want to map out my journey I would just “google map” it. Why do I need a paper back ttc map?I don’t. But this one intrigued me.

So I looked it up. That’s how I found out about ttc having bought this piece of art from a local artist to bring a sense of community to the commute through art and design. This pissed off a lot of people. It was evident in the comments. Unfortunately I didn’t share their anger.

So I think I’ll keep this useless map.

Because it’s pretty and its art. Art is one of those “useless” things that doesn’t contribute to the bigger capitalist agenda we are all working towards. It certainly doesn’t fix the shitty subway carts or make them show up on time.

But it does something far more valuable. It makes us smile, It touches a part of us that we usually ignore. The part that knows that the beauty of life is in the “useless” things. I have noticed in my life that a flower smiling at me from its pot or spot in a garden enriches my life more than it does bottled in a scent or a pot purri mix. Art and nature reminds us of what is truly important.  Happiness. Which comes from simple useless things.

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