Beauty or Gimmick?

I ran out to grab some coffees this morning on our last day of our mini vacation in Niagara Falls. The streets were deserted except for the men rebuilding some of the gaudy tourist attractions. We were some of the only crazy tourists to brave the streets during the off season.

I remember as a child loving the attractions and the sounds and the smells. Sensory over load.

As an adult, freezing my ass off for some Tim Hortons treats all I saw was bright coloured plastic gimmicks. It’s a great town for someone with a gimmick. Or a whole pocket full of gimmicks. I could see how it could be a fun life to hang out there and sell your gimmicks to excited, overwhelmed tourists looking for the new best thing…not a bad life…no harm to anyone…

I’ve read that Canadians believe that Niagara Falls should be the 8th  wonder of the world. It would be fantastic but as I’ve been reminded each time I travel; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And quite honestly I don’t see a lot of beauty there. The presence of bright coloured plastic and and expensive gimmicks…as much fun as it can be during their “on” season just puts a mask on the natural beauty the can be found at the bottom of Clifton Hill. Makes me sad. My child self still wants to go into the museums and have icecteam and cotton candy. My adult self worries about what we as creative and somewhat greedy humans have done to this natural beauty by scrambling to capitalize on it.

This morning I read on the secret Facebook page Pantsuit Nation that the founders want to make a book for the nation for all who want to participate. There was a lot of negative responses about it. It was received to many as another gimmick. A way to make money off of a page that is supposed to be safe for people to share their stories of abuse, rape, discrimination, as well as uplifting stories; stories of standing up against bullies, finding strength together, supporting each other. (I’ve had to avoid reading the posts since Lola died. Currently craving a safe emotional space, especially this close to Christmas)

Ive begun working on a similar project. I have taken a break for now but I’ve reached out to some of the members, shared my story, my ideas and have made friends. I haven’t fully formed it yet but a gimmick it will NOT be. I will find a way to dump any proceeds back into the system.

Gimmicks can be beautiful too I guess…depending on the eye of the beholder.

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