The Art Site

Friday, June 04, 2010


Yesterday afternoon I was biking home from Uni. It was cold, but there was blue in the sky - so good to see after all the rain we've had. May broke new records: we had more rain that month than Canterbury has had in thirty years, gray, oppressive skies and never-ceasing rain, growing puddles and mini-waterfalls pouring into the drains.
When I turned into the big park close to our house and biked along the path, the sun had seeped through the clouds and was laying itself flat against the grass, making it vividly green, stretching out across the wide expanse to the rugby league building. It glowed through the red-brown leaves of the canadian maple trees that spread branches over the path. Across from me, out on the grass a lady was throwing a ball for her golden retriever puppy to catch. The (very) golden retriever glided to the ball and.. um, retrieved it. It was like a movie shot - everything happening so perfectly, and with such ideal beauty.
I had a thought after I passed them: ideal beauty pleases us humans so much. It's so satisfying when we have a day that is 'perfect' or when a story is completed well, with everyone happy, or when we see a picture that is so narrow in its focus and components that the image is 'beautiful'. Women who have the most symetrical faces are the most desired, while women with less symmetry are perhaps more loved. Seeing the pink-and-blue of a sunrise is mesmerizing, while red-and-gold sunsets leave us gaping.
Life is only like that in spots though. It seems that we strive for an ideal lifestyle based on our love of these small times where beauty reigns. But perhaps beauty-worship isn't such a good idea: after all, the kind of beauty we love so much is appreciated because it is rare, and over so quickly. If we were confronted with the physical reality of an idealized world we would soon discard our previous ideas of perfect beauty and want something more fulfilling.
In comparison to those vivid colours of light on grass, my world - cooped up in a room studying - was a slightly depressing gray colour, full of little mistakes and notes and dampness and non-completeness and non-perfection. I decided that the comparison didn't really matter after I'd thought about it a bit more: so long as I could put those bright bits of light and colour into my mind I could remember them whenever I wanted to.
But perhaps I was wrong: maybe we should look at all aspect of our life with eyes that are tuned to see beauty everywhere - in the faces of old men and women in resthomes, in the severe blocks of University buildings and the outlines of trees against gray skies. Maybe we shouldn't see beauty as an ideal. What do you think? How do you see beauty?

- Lydie


Blogger The Editrix said...

Beautiful post. . . :-)

I think you're right on both counts: there is beauty and ugliness in this world, but the ugliness helps us to appreciate the beauty even more, and it's also good to look for the beauty in every person and every place - you're almost certain to find it somewhere.

10:34 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

Thanks! you're right - I think you *can* see beauty in almost anything, as long as you look at it in a certain way. I wonder if it's a good idea to always try to beautify the things around us? It feels good, but possibly makes us idealists.

11:59 pm  

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