Cleaning a few kitchen doors today; both are multi-paned with exterior storm doors.  It struck me that the old glass was more interesting to look at for any length of time.  The small lights are much, much harder to clean, as they have four times the number of edges.  The big outer panels are just flat pieces of glass.  They are entirely forgettable.  We generally assume that glass is supposed to be see-through, the modern triumph is invisible walls.  And yet….they are most assuredly walls.   I have to admit, I have always found the massive panels of perfect glass with minimal framing to be jaw-dropping, no doubt, but clinically cold. 

I was admiring one of the door’s lights, about the size of a shoe-box.  This small piece of glass had so much life in it.  The bubbles, the ripples, the multitude of imperfections, every single one of them caught the light.  At exactly the right angle and level a rainbow flashed and vanished.  This wasn’t a see-through wall; this was an (admittedly inadvertent) celebration of the sun.  

Now, I am sure that the people who built the house would spring for the modern, perfect glass; they went for modern whenever they could afford it after all.  But, studying the old glass ignites the artistic sensibilities.  Stained glass, painted glass, rippled, spun, blown, fractured; the possibilities are endless.  It is a pity we believe that flat, flawless, colourless, and large is perfection.