A long, long time ago I tried to define to myself what I wanted to do. "To show beauty" was what popped into my mind and to this day it continues to do so. At the same time my 'trite' buzzer keeps going off. What the hell does that mean, to show beauty? What is beauty and what is the point?
We all make beauty, either purposefully or unknowingly, many times in our lives, or perhaps just once. Never never. A child is beauty, kindness is beauty, being the best we can be is beauty, and of course, the world has it in every nook and cranny... though sometimes you have to look.
Our different perceptions of what beauty is define our creative world.
The other night I watched a broadcast of Britain's Stephen Fry in conversation at the Sydney Opera House. His deft but unselfconscious use of the language, and his deep general knowledge, was masterful. Beauty to him lives in the word. Alliteration, rhyme, rhythm, the pun, all dancing together over forty five minutes, the whole performance Stephen's equivalent of a well ridden wave. Nothing out of place, with the umms and ahhs a synaptic fizz, as one reviewer described it, matching the climb and drop between spectacular verbal turns.
There is beauty when you least expect it. I remember getting on a bus as a ten year old, and being confronted by one the most singularly unattractive old ladies I'd ever seen. Shortly after, while sitting behind her, some idiot decided to make me the subject of his aggressive attention. Not being a particularly forthright kid in the self defense department, I sat copping it when the said lady jumped up and gave my persecutor a serve of monumental proportions.
At that moment she became the Madonna. I wouldn't have been surprised if sunlight had burst from her wizened brow, and my memories of her face are relief coloured as beauty.
Now at three hundred and fifty six (minus three hundred), in the middle of unexpected and unwanted twists that I should have seen coming, with a fifteen year old tearing and melting my heart at the same time, the same desire to show beauty out that cut my advertising career to ribbons as my obtuse sense of what was right sat at odds with a profession I still struggle with, that sees paintings sit unfinished for fear of technique failing a vision perhaps not so splendid, and my own seeming deep genetic predisposition for procrastination stopping me doing things before I start, still I persist.
Perhaps the struggle is not so much to show beauty.
Just keep trying to see it.
Pic for today, my Dear Old Dad, about three months back.
"Come on Dad, give me a smile."
What a beauty.