Beauty

Three images of Beauty

I recently shared a piece, Restoring Body, Heart, and Mind with Awe! This is a short reflection on my experience with “awe” today. I am reading David Whyte’s book, Consolations, a book of essays on words “and their beautiful hidden and beckoning uncertainties.” In his essay on Beauty, I reflected on three touchstones that conjure up a sense of awe that is captured by his description of beauty.

The first is Gabriel’s Oboe, a short but captivating piece of music that helps me enter a restorative self-embodied state of awareness. It was written by Ennio Morricone as the theme for the 1986 motion picture The Mission. There are many wonderful renditions of Gabriel’s Oboe. Here is one of my favorites.

The second experience that speaks to me about “beauty” is this piece by Louie Schwartzberg, called Happiness Revealed. In this 9-minute piece, Schwartzberg, a film director, shares a project he’s created that illuminates the natural beauty we often take for granted. Seeing the symmetry, colors, and beauty in nature I feel a sense of awe. I became intrigued with his explanation of the expression, “Oh my God!” When you utter the expression, “Oh my God,” does it represent a sense of awe.

The third experience that brings me to a sense of awe is how David Whyte so eloquently captures the meaning of beauty. He writes:

Beauty is an achieved state of both deep attention and self-forgetting of seeing, hearing, smelling or touching that erases our separation, our distance our fear of the other. Beauty invites us, through entrancement, to that fearful frontier between what we think makes us; and what we think makes the world. Beauty is almost always found in symmetries and intriguing asymmetries: the symmetries and asymmetries seen out in creation, the wings of the moth, the airy sky and solid earth, the restful focused eyes of a loving face in which we see our own self reflected: the symmtrey also, therefore, of bringing inner and outer recognitions, the far horizons of otherness seen in that face joined to the deep inner horizon of our own being. Beauty is an inner and an outer complexion living in one face.

Consolations, David Whyte, page 19

Each of these experiences, captivating music, an enchanting film, or enlightening words, when experienced in a quiet space create a sense of wonder, awe, and restoration. Share an experience that reflects your understanding of beauty or conjures up a sense of wonder and awe.

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