Posts Tagged ‘the bits and pieces of reality’

The item number was wrong. The bin location was wrong. The website section for checking stock availablity was down, and the phone center wasn’t taking calls “due to high volume.”

When I spoke to the employee behind the info desk at the store about these issues, I said, “Wow, everything seems so organized here. All the nice stacks and rows and numbers, but I couldn’t call or web you to get answers.

“It’s all a beautiful facade,” he quipped.

We laughed.

It is.

IKEA is a beautiful facade

I know.

Last week, when I bolted and screwed the black dinning room table we bought from IKEA together I noted that it all worked well, the screws went in tight, the bolts grabbed nicely, but the surfaces were thin. A micro layer of pretty black paint covered the  Swedish and Russian pine; a thin layer of Ash was glued over the particle board legs.

IKEA is one of the largest furniture companies on Earth. It uses about one percent of the world’s total supply of lumber and sells something like 100 million pieces of furniture a year.

It specializes in veneers and paint. Lots of beautiful facades. Like life.

One could be cynical.

Our new, glossy table won’t be passed down to children or grandchildren. When we move we’ll either give it away, or toss it in the trash.

And yet, and yet veneer — it is at the core of beauty. Beauty is always a surface — a thin soft layer of skin, a sheen on hair, gloss on lips, a momentary sheer of kindness.

What beautiful thing isn’t limned, surfaced, textured, smeared, glazed, laminated or plated?

Virtue, character, principle, integrity — all pieces, all sheen, yet all gorgeous, even if only for the moment, in the instant, for the season.

Are we too denigrate everything because it isn’t an heirloom, perpetual, solid, through and though? Really? Even hard substances are made of particles; the whole shebang is atomistic.

When we moved recently, we gave away our solid oak antiques. We were tired of the tired, old, solid look. And the kids didn’t ‘t want them. Shoot, you could barely sell them on Ebay.

Life has an MDF kind of quality to it anyway; it’s a particle board universe. It’s a hundred million pieces. Even the galaxy is bits and pieces, here and there; solid then fragged again, it’s best look is perhaps the one seen from a great distance.

I love life!

I love the not solid. I love the facade!

It’s the nature of the shinny beast!

IKEA world, here we come!