I’m drawn to places where lines blur between the natural and the man-made: a smoking slagheap transformed into a green hill, a brick alleyway into a garden, an eco-roundhouse with flowers growing on its roof
Have you, like me, ever been stopped in your tracks by something or someone beautiful? If it’s a person, I’ll steal a second or third glance at him or her, amazed that this specimen of our species can be so arresting, can so impact on me just because of their bone structure, their stance.
Fine-grained urbanism doesn’t hijack your attention; it invites you in. You don’t view it, you live it – calling to mind Walter Benjamin’s famous dictum about architecture being an art whose reception “is consummated […] in a state of distraction.” We often think of beauty as something to be contemplated at a remove. Like life, though, beauty can be something that simply happens while you’re busy making other plans.
It wasn’t until I returned home on the other side of the world that I realised what in essence I had been looking for on those evening strolls: the rejuvenating wildness of the sea, the smell of the salt spray, the incredible power and beauty I hadn’t recognised at the time.
The reality of beauty is carried by the context—by the surprise of plain, drab, inconspicuous things, or no-things, interacting. By the way they intertwine, they reveal each other, cast light onto each other. ‘Beauty is in the ensemble’. It is the ensemble, the choir.
For this modest scribe, absolute beauty inheres in the faces (and expressions) of my children. It has something to do with purity and innocence (and probably a dash of DNA.) Absolute beauty has a spiritual or transcendental dimension.
A million moons bursting while a spellbinding white silence erupts, engulfing it all. While the trail of stardust and the delicious naivety of my mouth on yours whisper promises we could never keep. Holding on with my fingernails devouring flesh and bone…
Depth of thought is the route to feeling. The more deeply we think about our world, the stronger we feel about it. We experience the world’s pain. We experience the artist’s pain, the scientist’s pain, the child or parent’s pain. And this pain, which resides in our hearts and souls and even our bodies, gives rise to joy.
Beauty is in words that are written on pages by women who have fought simply to have a voice, to be able to tell the stories they have within them. Beauty is in the day-to-day poetry of life.