I have always loved the books by James Herriot. He writes a lot about shepherds and their flock. For the lay person all sheep look alike but for the shepherd each and every sheep has its own personality and are so different from each other.
I remembered this as we were walking on the streets of Oxford along with our walking tour group. Oxford is a beautiful place and at first glance all those beautiful buildings look so similar but they are so different. Our guide told us something very interesting about the importance of architecture. According to him the architect of a religious building would have achieved his dream if people experienced a feeling of wonder upon entering that place and felt they were in the presence of God. The religious buildings, the colleges, the library buildings (Bodleian Library), all have their own special architecture, which makes them so different from each other. Architecture also gives an atmosphere and there is a feeling of recognition, an awareness, on entering the place.
Of course, just the architecture does not make a place. Important are the people in that place and the emotions of the people who enter the portals. It is they who give importance to the plus and minus points of the place. I feel people see what they want to see.
Writing about emotions and awareness I remember our visit to Wimbledon a few days earlier. It had been a very precious time for us. For most tennis lovers Wimbledon is very special place. It was an amazing experience to see all that was in the museum and the highlight of the day was seeing the Centre Court in person. The official who took us there was very nice and answered all our questions. Till then we had seen the place only on TV and it was a beautiful moment to just look down from the stands. I have been following Wimbledon from the days of Chris Evert and Borg. This year is more special.
This same knowingness is there with people too. With some, there is this feeling of rapport and with others a feeling of not liking them even if they are strangers. Why this is so? There is no answer.