As I watch, the room darkens until her figure disappears. What is left are glowing forms held up by invisible arms. A small voice whispers take them back, take them home, birth them again, paint them again these colors, let them fly through the trees like enlivened leaves, like wishes, prayers, and promises released from our mouths and minds into the great divine.
Notice and beauty aren’t quite interchangeable but they certainly travel together, whether it’s choosing the right red or watching through train windows as Gary, Indiana, rolls by, huge curls of scrap steel artfully coiled, as insistent and instructive as any gallery installation.
I have spent my life searching for beauty, from a gold compact stolen from my mother in childhood, to cardboard furniture when we could not afford anything else, to the row of parrots sitting on the backyard fence last week.
… humans have been driven to capture or replicate the beauty we see around us. Cave dwellers provided early examples and now quilters plant tulips on quilts, photographers gather the colors of a sunset, violinists trill like a songbird and poets use a palette of words for their canvas.
Goats on island cliffs contemplate the sea with a self-assuredness that is the equal of any great poet’s. They are the artists of what they see. And falcons, they embody beauty because they haven’t the time to passively look. They perform art as they fly, superbly appreciating its esthetic valor.
It is easy for me to find things beautiful. The way a man’s hands look when he holds his child. How the corners of the eyes crinkle when someone laughs. Steady sound, rain on a roof. Even the shine of a beetle’s back in sunlight. If you want to find beauty, you just need to learn how to pay attention.
I close in on a particular section of metal plate, where the colors are most vivid and the texture of the decaying metal has the most variety, and there I have it. A found artwork, an inadvertent collaboration of mankind and nature.
I believe that true beauty can be found in contrast. Consider the stars which illuminate the dark night sky, fields which must be burned in order to nourish crops, and the fact that there is no person in this world with a body that is perfectly symmetrical: one toe might be longer than others, a freckle might only be present on one hand.
I am moved by the peculiar. Maybe because it stands out for me and is likely to be real rather than what seems to be perfect but often turns out to be a put on. As a writer, honest writing that minces no words is what I find beautiful. People who are unabashedly themselves are very attractive to me.
What I find beautiful is what I find moves me. To me, beauty is vulnerability, is open, is fluid and raw. It’s something that is able to exist in the real world, but still see beyond the grit. I’m not sure if this makes any sense to anyone else, but as both a reader and a writer, I’ve felt the most beauty in those dark moments that are determined yet to shimmer.
… ‘Beauty’s impact on the viewer is the urge to replicate it.’ For me, beauty in its broad sense remains an indefinable, mystical quality like a signpost to perfection. It draws me inward to contemplate. I’ve been affected by beauty’s presence in ways that have changed my life—when I toured the art and history of Italy. Beauty is a blessing that can be found anywhere. I love that beauty is always close at hand, to nurture and still, and to fuel the urge to create.