Monday, June 26, 2017

Beauty is Not Only Skin Deep

Grays Peak (Continental Divide, photo: Chris  Keller)
The beauty of nature is almost too much to bear. It can be like a reprimand, if it’s disconsonant with one’s inner condition. But beauty is also a challenge. What's one to do with or about it? No matter the state of mind, it dominates the conversation. You go to the Grand Canyon or the Alps, to the South Shore of Long Island or the Great Lakes and you’re dumbfounded and dwarfed by it. Wherever it appears, it tends to be the only show in town. There’s something about beauty that's almost like watching too much TV. It makes you passive, since you defer to it and realize there’s nothing you can do in the face of it. Also, it can be boring. How long is one going to go on about a star filled sky or about the Aurora Borealis? In some senses beauty lacks dimensionality since in its purest form it's lacking in conflict or that kind of  turbulence which might be equatable with human intention. When you’re caught in a storm, which can be beautiful, you, at least, are put in the position of a competitor who now has his or her work cut out for them. During hurricanes and typhoons nature shows its dark side and anthropomorphizing it, you find yourself in a battle where  you have to escape its supposed wrath. But nature in its most beauteous manifestations is benign and leaves one feeling like the beneficiary of unearned wealth. You have inherited something you’ve done nothing to earn, that, in turn, creates an inherent feeling of helplessness.

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