When I Hear the Word Beauty
April 1, 2021
I trace my relationship to beauty back into my childhood. Although it wasn’t very awakened then, but I remember loving the puddles in the street, you know, after a rain when it’s calm again. And the surface of the puddles I now know reflected the oil, but then it was just magical the iridescence and the soft rainbows of color all iridescent and shimmering.
And I remember being transfixed by those and looking as if I could see through to another world. And I think this idea of another world has been a thread throughout my life. As Joyanna said, now as the concept and the feeling of beauty has developed throughout my life, I experience beauty in all of my senses. And I mean, the first thought that came to mind when I thought about this topic was nature, certain scenes in nature that take me into awe, but it’s also a physiological sensation that changes in my body that go along with the perception of beauty.
I am so blessed to live on water where I can look at the effects of light on water and different times of day just have that feeling of calm come over me. That calm water can bring just the visual of it. And the greenery of my garden in front of the water. I mean, I can have little seconds of perception of beauty at any time. But otherwise, in nature, just certain scenes bring about that awakening to beauty at certain times, and not every nature scene.
I remember the feeling of being in the redwoods when I was a child, going to Muir Woods here in California. And there was something about the silence and the sparkles of the dust motes in the sunlight which were magical, and discovering art and stained glass windows in France when I studied there. And I didn’t and don’t relate to all art, but certain art just takes me into a zone. Often, it’s abstract art rather than representational.
And then as I developed my palette, certain tastes would take me to that space of deliciousness in my body that relates to the sensation of seeing a piece of art that moves me. And then introduction to music. I mean, in my childhood my parents played certain pieces of classical music. But I don’t think music took me on a journey until discovering in my hippie years certain rock music, with a little herbal assistance would take me into just this flowing state of living the music in my body as I danced with it.
And as I grew and matured and grew emotionally and psychologically and spiritually, music could take me, not just rock music, classical, soft jazz, certain songs could take me into that zone of sometimes awe, sometimes just intense pleasure, sometimes wafting on waves of pleasantness, waves of connection with something larger than me. And touch sometimes, especially when I receive bodywork that involves movement, or bodywork that involves deep pressure, I can go into this deep zone of relaxation or connection, spiritual connection or emotional feeling.
So, in a way, for me, all the senses can take me into a zone I call beauty. And as I’ve developed spiritually throughout my life, it takes me back to that childhood of looking into the cuddles and thinking that was a gateway into a world beyond. And for me now, many of the various experiences of beauty take me into contact with something larger than myself, than my little restrained ego, the part of my ego that keeps me blocked, into a perception of perhaps a larger self, perhaps a connection with a higher power even if that exists. It can also be something as simple as seeing a baby’s toes, I just got that image.
So, it’s connected with pleasureful sensations, wonder, awe, connection. And I’m so grateful that having developed over the years an acute in the sense of very perceptive sense of my body, and of spiritual connection to something larger than myself, that beauty is the doorway sometimes into that very deep and special place of pleasure, wonder, awe, hmm and dancing can take me there. My mind is popcorning a little bit.
But moving my body, even though I’m restricted to sitting a lot of the time now, I’ve developed a set of micro-movements in my spine that brings such a feeling of pleasure of liquidity of my body. That again takes me into that sort of cosmic soup that’s so delicious. So, beauty is really where my brain is occupied too much of the time when I can let it expand or focus in. It can come from focusing in deeply or expanding outward, to get outside of the confines of intellect, into a place where my mind, my brain can be something larger than itself.
It’s really a profound experience, and it may come in just tiny seconds, glimpses, or a longer period of delight in life, and in what may be beyond life. It makes the thought of this spotty mind dissolving or ceasing to be. It gives me a sense of wonder of not knowing at what lies beyond, that makes even death not frightening anymore.