Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beauty As a Reflection

These paintings are all by Jeffrey T. Larson. I love his feeling for light.
By Dan Hagen
While walking alone late one night, I saw a red light atop a water tower through the fog, and thought how beautiful it was, and how I was the only one seeing it. It made me realize that beauty is as much inside the person who recognizes it as outside in the world. 
The capacity to see it is within us, so the beauty we see, we share in and become.
The vast impersonal beauty of the world, of its sunrises and rainstorms, always stands right outside your troubles and concerns, untouched by them and dwarfing them. 
And yet that beauty isn't impersonal at all, but dependent upon your capacity to experience it — it is always as much "in here" as it is "out there," and so it is yours.
I'm not the first to have been thunderstruck by that observation, of course. I was reading the book "Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter" during the summer of 2014 when I came across this childhood recollection. "Here, once again, I became unique and I felt I was needed: my own eyes were needed in order that the copper red of the beach could be set against the blue of the cedar and the silver of the poplar," wrote Simone de Beauvoir. "When I went away, the landscape fell to pieces, and no longer existed for anyone; it no longer existed at all."

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