For every news story I read or phone call I make, I pad my core with a little more beauty. The trick to survival, now more than ever, is to hold onto music, color, art, and language. Beauty is not a luxury; it’s vital—it’s how we honor what’s important even as ugliness breaks out around us.
What gives pleasure and exalts the mind and spirit, then, is nature in all its varied moods. As a painter I strive to capture scenes where light is focused in a particularly moody way: a sunset, a cloudy Northwest day on Rattlesnake Ridge, a turbulent sea.
I never know what the hour will be when I emerge out of the deep recesses of my mind and return to the ‘real’ world. Sometimes only an hour has passed and I have composed a thousand words; other times I emerge to find myself in the mid-afternoon with three or four thousand words on the page.
I was lying peacefully in bed this morning, in love with the world, and this life. A feeling of gentle peace had swept over me, even though I heard the rain beginning to fall outside. More rain? Kate says the climate has changed, we now live in a newly tropical rainfall region, and I should just get used to it.
The concept of beauty is defined and supplemented by the concept of catharsis as the apogee of the struggle with, and mastery of, human passions and sufferings. Thus, a beautiful form, like an exquisite amphora, is filled with content, the flaming wine of feeling.