This is going to be a sappy, touchy-feely, starry-eyed post. You’ve been warned.
Beauty. I was walking around yesterday, listening to music and a train of thought started its engines. It centered around what beauty is. The common idea of it being something aesthetic, some combination of colors and visuals that evoke something pleasant. Beauty is also commonly applied to music. When a grandiose or soft orchestral piece plays I often think to myself “wow, that’s gorgeous.”
Beauty is often applied to things. But I feel its scope is far wider.
Beauty is everywhere, and I’ve often spoken about it being hidden in all the smaller, the subtle actions that go on all around us. It often takes a willing eye to discover the sources of beauty out there, meaning can be made out of all sorts of things. A while back I saw someone cry for the first time. That may not sound like something pleasant, but the pure emotion I felt from them and felt in my reaction to it was something so real. That truth was beautiful. I got to see something so pure, real, and unfiltered.
That’s what beauty should encompass. Yes, things are sad, things can get real fucked up sometimes. But when all that happens, all the emotions and actions that come out of them become a painting so gorgeous and passionate its beauty cannot be ignored. Funerals are both sad and beautiful, as are a field of blooming flowers and the same goes for a soldier returning to his family from a tour of duty; they’re just different.
I think beauty is quite a neutral term. Often it’s thought to be something only applied to some positive event or creation. But as I’ve mentioned above it can be used to describe times of sadness, tribulation, loneliness or whatever. I think the real definition of beauty is complete purity of something. And that’s not to say purity as in an uncut diamond, or a lover saving oneself for marriage, but of the complete purity of emotion.
In that sense, I see beauty in the tears of friends, in the deceased climbers of Everest, in the lonely child looking for belonging. It may sound a bit morbid at a glance, but looking into what those things mean, you can begin to see how beautiful each one is.
Those tears, especially when it is someone who typically holds back their sadness, show a trust in one another, an emotional attachment/desire so intense they can no longer control themselves. Their weeping is a message to the world that they love or feel something to such an immense degree that all they can do at that moment is express everything.
Those bodies on Everest represent a cold embodiment of determination, a determination so insane and overcoming that their reckless abandon could push them off the edge of the world. Through subzero temperatures, falling ice, dying muscles and deadly atmospheres those climbers looked to the top, a summit that no doubt represented much more than the peak of a mountain, and said to themselves that it was to die for.
That lonely child, fearful in a dark room, desirous of someone to be with one who will show him compassion and something to belong to, represents the culmination of all who that child is. It’s a bit harder for me to describe the beauty in this one, but that child’s potential is shining as he sits in his cold room. If you look, you can see what could become of that child if someone reached out their hand.
Those are some examples of beauty. And it’s important to realize, if beauty is pure emotion, then cutting down the bullshit, all the facades that mask our authentic self to be shown, the more gorgeous this world will become.
And that’s going to be it for now. I’ll carry on with another post once I have the inspiration for something.
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