Thoughts on beauty
Lately I've been captivated by the idea, the majesty, the wonder, the splendor of beauty. I have realized that there has been a lot of shame in my life around the concept of beauty. Somehow in my growing up, I got the idea that to really enjoy beauty was linked with vanity, selfishness, & a slippery slope towards hedonism. Being female and holding a somewhat negative idea of beauty has brought a bit of a clash for me; or perhaps I should say a cautioned hesitancy towards beauty. My female heart is drawn towards pleasing shapes and lines, towards colors that evoke a mood or a thought, towards sounds that touch my inner self - I have realized that beauty feeds me. Beauty refreshes me. To hold a new tulip and be in wonder at it's color and shape, the long straight line of the stem, the rounded curves of the petals is a showcase of beauty. Did not our Creator delight in beauty? Is beauty not something that is a tremendous gift for our hearts and perhaps a deep reflection of the Divine? Lately I've been singing together with a friend once a week. We just sit in a beautiful setting an sing one hour per week - no agenda to perform. Just experience the beauty of a song. Recently we sang a chant that had Navajo words regarding beauty.
In beauty happily I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty all around me I walk
It is finished in beauty, It is finished in beauty.
These words remind me of Julian of Norich - all shall be well, and all matter of things shall be well. They also remind me of the prayers of St. Patrick - Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ above me, Christ all around me.