The road seems to narrow and rise up toward the sky. And there an orange-tinted moon waits, surrounded by tiny lights. As I walk along, I have a sense of being lifted up toward that sky. It is as if the body is lightened by the presence of beauty.
Real beauty, (not the sexualized images that are currently foisted on us), is not a fluff item. Historically, we have always felt the necessity for being surrounded by beauty. But why? When people are starving and there are so many worries, why think of beauty? Why do we need art?
I checked on some who have written about this. This is what I found:
- Beauty has something to do with happiness. “Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy,” wrote Anne Frank, who looked for it in small things before dying at Auschwitz.
- Children have a greater appreciation for beauty maybe because they are really looking! “Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old,”wrote the Jewish author Franz Kafka who died in 1924.
- Sometimes it takes effort to see beauty. “The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely,” wrote Louisa May Alcott, who grew up in poverty like her characters in Little Women.
- There is a mystery which surrounds beauty. It is not of this world. “Do I love you because you’re beautiful, or are you beautiful because I love you?” This is a song lyric written by Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein.
- A famous poet named Rilke speaks of the importance of being involved in creative ways. Then we experience beauty. “If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches; for to the creator there is no poverty and no poor indifferent place.”
- “Beauty awakens the soul to act.”These words were written long ago by Dante Alighieri who wrote The Divine Comedy. He died in 1321.
Beauty purifies, inspires, releases, lifts up. Surround yourself with art that is not simply decorative but is inspiring. Then you will feel the wonder of life!
copyright Judith Costello 2015