Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/21/now-time-practice-beauty
Wake up everybody! It’s a beautiful day every day. Wake up to BEAUTY!
Beauty endures, while glitz and glamour simply flash by and disappear. So much of urban and suburban America is filled with ugliness that it stifles life. Yet…even amidst the concrete and potholes and rundown houses and hordes of motor vehicles, there is beauty. One small piece of grass sandwiched between parking lots of chain stores has many small pink-purple flowers, dandelions, and violets thrusting up through all the trash.
Practice beauty and do random acts of kindness!
Lovely article…in beauty my I walk .
I got this today in my in-tray .
that to find beauty in everyone you must see beauty
in everyone, then announce that you see it for, in announcing it,
you place it there in their reality.
Do not miss a single chance – not one single opportunity –
to tell someone how wonderful they are, how special they are,
how important to you they are, how incredible as a person they are,
how beautiful they are inside and out.
Do not miss a single opening in which to insert
such a comment, genuinely felt and genuinely meant.
Make it your life’s mission today to bring to the attention of another
just how extraordinary they are. Say it. Say it. SAY it.
Their heart is waiting to know that
their own best thought about themselves
can be believed.
“For years, the architect Christopher Alexander devoted several hours each day to an exercise in receptivity, looking at pairs of objects—ceramic bowls, woven rugs, tiles, metal utensils, etc.—and asking: “Which has more life?” His aim was to feel the energy in the structure of things. He did not ask, “Which do I like better?” a question that sinks us into the quicksand of personal pleasure and human ego–and destroys the connected life of observer and observed.”
Perhaps he didn’t ask which he likes better because the point of the exercise was to analyze why he liked one better–so that he could incorporate that into his work in his quest to produce designs that other people will like better. The notion that beauty is not about personal pleasure, or that beauty is anything more than opinion, is itself an opinion (and one that was not at all supported here). Our opinions about beauty may be in part hard-wired into us, but that does not imbue the thing itself with the attribute of beauty, any more than our personal sensation of blueness means the sky has that quality as an intrinsic property. Beauty may have a confluence of contributing factors within the mind, but it still appears to be personal, subjective, malleable, and having no existence apart from the minds that perceive it. For each of us, beauty is whatever we think it is, at the instant we think it.
Thank you for the gift of this article. It’s a perfect reminder the stressful time of a pandemic. As you write, it is not given enough attention in our hurried, harried culture that has such an emphasis on results and speediness. In the spirit of music mentioned early in the article, here is my gift of a piano solo / music video that is also a celebration of the beauty of trees:
How lovely. The first sounds and images put me in touch with my beloved tree, home to little yellow birds and colorful parakeets and lizards. Mass murdered by the HOA.
Stream of notes, steady stream of tears… the grief is almost unbearable.
Perhaps your music and images will awaken hearts.
Simply beautiful essay. Courageous in these times, actually in the last century. To enjoy or try to make something beautiful in contemporary art is to be mocked, a follower of Thomas Kinkaide. I typed in the words, sublime, exquisite and beautiful in the art review section of the New York Times, and it only referred to art that was at least a century old.
October, by Louise Glück
A poem written after the September 2001 attacks that’s helped me focus on what’s needed, and in so many other ways—a poem for the end of civilization, toward which, one way or another, we inexorably turned after that day, because of the inability of our rulers to tolerate their own emotions.
“Come to me”, said the world.
This is not to say
it spoke in exact sentences
but that I perceived beauty in this manner.
It is true that there is not enough beauty in the world.
It is also true that I am not competent to restore it.
Neither is there candor, and here I may be of some use.