Symbolic, sheer bright beauty: stranger’s smiling without why, reason—really an amazing generous giver.
Beauty is the gift, the piano in the woods, the way the cat licks his nose when you kiss it; the racket, the dance, the sky undeserved, the fur on the underbelly of nothing.
Beauty can be an elusive commodity and not apparent on first sighting. Often we could benefit from a set of standards or even clues for detecting the alluring charms of Beauty in a work of art, a musical piece or loyal partner.
It is a whole experience, because it’s more than just what we see, or touch, hear, or comprehend, it’s all of that plus the feeling of wholeness, awe, gratefulness, even melancholy that our senses give us.
It can be soft and gentle. It can be bright and bold. It can evoke a smile, joy, a sense of wonder, or even a touch of melancholy as you watch the fleeting moment of a cherry blossom falling. Beauty captures the heart.
I am not drawn to the familiar but to that which is different, whether a different geography, a different culture, or a different perspective; that is, a different way of seeing. For me, in writing, it is beautiful to make the empathetic leap, living in someone else’s skin for a while.
Beauty consists of layers of memories and colors as vivid as a sunset after a busy day or as distant as the mountains of my parents’ village in Lebanon. I remember a colleague placing a beautiful bouquet of flowers at my desk when I returned to work after my father’s death. Grief made me sluggish but that beautiful arrangement helped me make it through that first day back at work.
The boy took a shell from the unbroken pile. “Look at this shell. It’s perfect, without a single flaw. It’s shiny and smooth, no cracks or chips. It doesn’t remind me of anyone I know. But this shell,” he said, taking one from the other pile, “is like the people in our village, this shell is like us. There are rough edges, and deep cracks. It wears the scars of a full life, yet it is still a shell. To me, this shell is more beautiful than all the others.”
“The most musical moment” is trying to fill us up with something meaningful and everlasting, and it is trying to create, and gift us, what is probably one of our most precious possessions, a memory.
The key aspect of time is its eternal beauty, experienced by us in short snippets if we are perceptive of our present time. If we focus much on the beauty of the past, or the beauty to come in the future, we would fail to see and experience the current moments of beauty surrounding us.
I see beauty in groups of women marching en masse in Washington, D.C., peacefully, passionately, wearing pink ‘Pussy Hats,’ while waving witty signs. Beauty is being able to breathe the still unpolluted air, before the EPA is completely gutted, on a walk through a National Park that hasn’t yet been closed or sold to a corporation for drilling rights, knowing this is perhaps a fleeting pleasure.