Grace is the elegance of movement or expression. Below is a photo of a building architected by Santiago Calatrava, arguably one of the greatest architects in the modern era. There’s a lovely article about him in the New Yorker. Calatrava conceives of each building not with a sketchbook or a CAD program but with a simplified watercolor that he presents at the requisition for each building. In the painting, he seeks to capture the essence of the building to be built. And he has shown that this is enough.
In his simple approach to pursuing contracts, there is grace and elegance: a wonderful simplicity that captures much more profoundly the idea than pages of documents and schematics. In this painting, there is complexity simplified. It is a powerful metaphor (see the previous post for more on that).
At the root of the root and the bud of the bud, I think creativity is really simplifying complexity. And being able to act properly on that simplified interpretation requires intelligence, because whenever using a metaphor, one has to understand the underlying assumptions. And Calatrava has both, as you can see above; he oversees his buildings to beautiful fruition.
After visiting New York and witnessing all the culture there is to be seen, I thought that in order to be consistently creative, one must surround oneself with the elements of creativity which is to say the creativity of others. It’s the reason why beautiful music, writing, painting, art and sculpture are curated for thousands of years: for inspiration.
As the routine of daily life sets in, it’s difficult to find simplicity. But finding the simplicity each day is what gives our lives grace.