Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Eternal Search for Beauty...

A Beautiful Day on South Uist
   I've been re-reading John O'Donohue's book "Beauty - the invisible embrace".  It is a subject that has always fascinated me ever since I first heard that old truism, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".  I always accepted that, without question, until I began to practice contemplative photography.

   I have come to understand that that truism refers to superficial and transient beauty; to the surface quality of things.  As a contemplative photographer I know full well that the truth of the concept of "beauty" goes much deeper.  I call it "soulful beauty".  Perhaps I could re-word that old truism..."Beauty is in the heart of the beholder".

    Unfortunately, it seems our contemporary culture is obsessed with the surface and not the soul. In the last decade or so we have turned that obsessive fascination more towards the ugly than the beautiful.

The media generate relentless images of mediocrity and
ugliness in talk-shows; tapestries of smothered language and
 frenetic gratification.  The media are becoming the global
mirror and these shows tend to enshrine the ugly as the
normal standard.  Beauty is mostly forgotten and made
to seem naive and romantic.

-John O'Donohue

   I recently read that everyday 1.5 billion photographs are taken - 1.5 BILLION!  A majority of these images are made with cellphones and I suspect that very few would fall into the "beautiful" category.  Call me naive, call me a romantic if you must, but in our global obsession for all things ugly, violent and sensational we are turning a blind eye to all that is beautiful and worthy in the world.

   Another truism states, "We are what we eat" and that applies as well to what we  "eat" with our eyes.  If we insist on feeding our souls with a daily menu of "ugly" we will slowly come to find the "beautiful" indigestible. So, in the attempt to offer my blog readers a little beauty to offset the nightly  news and reality TV, I give you the following link. Pour yourself a cup of tea, sit back and feast on the beauty contained in this video.  Then try and make a daily dose of beauty as important as your daily vitamin pill because just as the vitamin pill builds our bodies resistance to illness, your daily dose of beauty will provide you some immunity to the ugliness you must confront everyday....

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