Beauty Needs a Lover

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Beauty needs a lover. Without a lover beauty is not beauty.  It is life.  Almost.  A seed.  That is how it seems to me.  Things are not beautiful in and of themselves unless I notice them in and of themselves.  The moment my eye catches it, “Ah!  Yes!” then it unfolds and becomes beautiful.  Do you see what I mean?

If something is not beautiful this does not mean that it is ugly.  It’s just not yet, beautiful.  Almost though.  It’s a threshold, a doorway.  Almost anything you interact with becomes beautiful if you open your eyes, reach out your hand, breath it in.

Beauty is a relationship, a discovery, a beholding, even a bewilderment.  It is a recurring accident if you let it.

One of my favorite moments of beauty comes from Helen Keller, reaching out her hand to the world.  In her own words:

“We walked down the path to the well-house, attracted by the fragrance of the honeysuckle with which it was covered.  Someone was drawing water and my teacher placed my hand under the spout.

As the cool stream gushed over one hand, she spelled into the other the word water, first slowly, then rapidly.  I stood still, my whole attention fixed upon the motion of her fingers.  Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness as of something forgotten – a thrill of returning thought; and somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me.  I knew that  “w-a-t-e-r” meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand.

That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!  There were barriers still, it is true, but barriers that could in time be swept away.

I left the well-house eager to to learn.  Everything had a name, and each name gave gave birth to a new thought.  As we returned to the house every object which I touched seemed to quiver with life.  That was because I saw everything with the strange new sight that had come to me.

I learned a great many new words that day.  I do not remember what they all were but I do know that mother, father, sister, teacher were among them – words that were to make the world blossom for me, “like Aaron’s rod with flowers.”  It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was as I lay in my bed at the close of that eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed for a new day to come.”

 christopher woodhull

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