Beauty, The Invisible Embrace: #A-Z Challenge
“A world without beauty would be unbearable. Indeed the subtle touches of beauty are what enable most people to survive. Yet beauty is so quietly woven through our ordinary days that we hardly notice it. Everywhere there is tenderness, care and kindness, there is beauty.”
Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by John O’Donohue
I’m lucky. Living in the country means that natural beauty is abundant. Walks in the woods, the ice breaking on the pond, water burbling over rocks–nature gives up its gorgeousness so effortlessly.
Noticing the subtle touches of beauty is more of a challenge. In our busy lives, it is easy to dash past the smile of the stranger on the street corner; to barely break our stride when we spot a particularly artful arrangement of goods in a shop window.
But beauty, says O’Donohue, is what the soul hungers for. We can’t afford to pass it by, especially if, as O’Donohue says, it needs “our attention and reverence in order to come alive.”
Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.Marcus Aurelius
We Need to Save Beauty
There’s more need than ever to seek out and attend to moments of beauty. O’Donohue makes the interesting point that, “The media generate relentless images of mediocrity and ugliness in talk-shows, tapestries of smothered language and frenetic gratification. The media are becoming the global mirror and these shows enshrine the ugly as the normal standard.”
O’Donohue died before the current spate of ‘reality’ television programs. I can only imagine what he’d say about them!
A Treasure Hunt
Remember, though, that beauty is not perfection. The concept of wabi-sabi embraces the cracks and wrinkles as examples of the beautiful impermanence of life.
Let’s make a game of this. Choose a window of time and see how many instances of beauty you can find. Can you find one or more in each of the seven following categories?
Colour is the clothing of beauty.John O'Donohue
- the natural world
- your home
- a friend or co-worker
- someone or something you love
Now, how do you feel?