"- don't be so quick to knock it. People don't usually part with the weird shit they personally know because they know how easy it will be to punch holes in. Now I'm tellin you somethin. It's for you to poke through the soup and find the meat." John Patrick Shanley's 'the dreamer examines his pillow'

Monday, June 20, 2005

It’s intriguing, fascinating how thoughts seem to hover sometimes in certain places. This morning I awoke with a start and a flood of thoughts, about the day, about my God, about the night before rushed into my brain. I got up, went about making breakfast and watching Trading Spaces with the house members, discovered my period had begun, sat on the breezy front porch and talked with Meg while she had a smoke, decided I would go for a run to work off the half-box of cheerios I ate at 2 o’ clock this morning, walked back upstairs, grabbed a pillow and sat on my bed to read some before I head out. Immediately, I had this sense that I should be thinking about something... a vague sense of the feelings I had this morning. This is a home for my morning thoughts, and no matter what I do before I return to it, I can revisit what I felt this morning. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing I don’t know. It makes life seems kind of circular, doesn’t it? We almost always go back to the things we know.
People work that way too. I mean they’re homes for certain parts of ourselves that we’ve given to them. A home for our love. Or laughter. Smells – they trigger so many emotions. You know how that special person smells? You walk by and catch just a small hint of their scent, and some part of you wakes up – some part of you has come to a home that only exists in that person. It’s beautiful. There is beauty in the world, at our fingertips. God’s beauty is shown through the simplest feelings.
I watched Closer a few nights ago. Amazing. But at one point, a young, disillusioned woman (Alice) is looking at a photo gallery, all blown-up pictures of strangers looking desolately at the camera. Another character asks her what she thinks of the exhibit (she is one of the “strangers” in the pictures). She says “It’s a lie.” She says it’s a lie because everyone walks around and looks at the pictures and says “oh, they’re beautiful,” but the truth is they’re just people. Sad, sad people with a ton of crap in their lives. It’s not beautiful. It’s hopeless. At first I agreed. That night I took a long walk down State St. I felt like sitting on the curb, still warm from the sun, and watching cars go by. Presently I saw a young man with his son in his shoulders, laughing and bouncing up and down. Normally this would have nearly brought tears to my eyes. A father with his young son is a precious sight to me. Instead, I thought Ah, but this man has hidden sins like anyone else, like me, a whole life outside of this moment that’s not beautiful. And the boy screams at his mother sometimes and will grow up just as complicated as everyone else. This moment is not beautiful. It, too, is a lie. A covering over and simplification of what life really is.
And I thought of that moment in the movie. And then I decided, perhaps beauty is a lie. All of it. That’s all it is. Bear with me. But the human soul, or body or whatever feels; our spirits, we can sense something good and we call it beauty. So it must exist in some form. Or we would not feel it. Maybe saying that “this is all good” is a lie. Saying that this boy and his daddy together is irrevocably a good thing is a lie. But that truth, that it’s not good, may be what makes it beautiful. Perhaps beauty, when it comes to humans, has a rotten core, and that’s what makes it stand out. Despite our faults and tragedies, we can look at our perception of something, whether it’s a lie or not, and say, that’s beautiful, and feel it. We believe ourselves, amazingly enough, no matter how many times we find we’ve been horribly wrong. We believe in true beauty.
Beautiful is a mystery. What is it? I guess somehow it just makes all the difference that it’s there. It’s good.


Blogger Amber G. said...

I'm glad I read this post today. It's kind of what I have been thinking a lot about lately.

8:27 AM

Blogger Jennifer said...

as learned in TOK, there was never, is never, and never can be an absolute truth. what is "true" to each person is different. it is all a matter of perception. and thus, the saying holds true: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

7:48 PM


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