A quick Google search tells me that the official definition of beautiful is this:
The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
I wonder where the last place you saw real beauty was? Lately, I’m sure I got a glimpse of it in the deep turquoise of the Mediterranean sea, I really think I saw it in the mussy hair and crumpled face of my 6 year old as she begrudgingly stretched herself awake this morning. I definately heard it in the complex arrangement of a gorgeous song - the interaction if the instruments building to rouse a feeling - a warm response from within.
I’m pretty sure it can be found in the funky, dirty beat of your favourite song that beats defiantly against any sadness, anger or frustration you can throw at it. A sound that connects you somehow to the rest of humanity and reassures in an indeterminable way that deep down we are all the same, we have the same fears, pain, joy and needs. Beauty is a view that you try desperately to memorise so that you never have to forget it and live without it. Day to day we employ our sense of pride, our many titles and labels, to cover these more vulnerable parts of ourselves and in these moments where we get a tantalising hint of the sublime, beauty can cut through all the extreaneous stuff and connect to the very essence of us.
Lately I have reflected that beauty can be found in the kindness of strangers, a levelling glance, a genuine and kind smile never to be repeated. A new, warm friendship, within which you embrace the inherent beauty in one another, wrinkles, creases, imperfections inside and out accepted, and even liked or loved. Even shared silences can be beautiful if they are filled with positivity and contentment instead of indifference and tension.
Beauty is completely subjective, it is all around us, and I think we should all be brave enough to be honest about what we truly find beautiful, and search that out and enjoy it - it doesnt have to be what the homogenised consensus/MTV/Vogue/fashion/critics dictates - Life is short and pretty damn difficult sometimes so as well as being strong and reliable, we need to remember to find a bit of room for whatever inspires us.
When I was about 12 I lived in a remote Welsh village and one night I went camping by the estuary with my friends, in the morning I woke up early and jumped on my bike to go home and grab some breakfast - when I reached the edge of the estuary the early morning view took my breath away - It stopped me in my tracks and I just stared at the water, which was as still as a mill pond with mist rising gently off the surface, it was so still that mirror images of the trees and boats were reflected perfectly in the water. The air was totally still and smelt like that gorgeous earthy, salty, fresh, warm smell that you can get in the summer. I felt so priviliged to witness such beauty and even though life was pretty difficult at the time with my family experiencing plenty of heartache, I experienced that ageless feeling that I was just really happy to be alive. It was one of those moments where you are filled with anticipation and the tentative excitment about what life might bring your way. Because if that kind of incidental beauty is possible then there must be some good shit in the world - right? You know those moments? That’s beauty.
“Beauty is a form of genius — is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.” — Oscar Wilde