A person should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of their life, in order that worldly cares do not obliterate the sense of the beautiful that God has implanted in the human soul. Goethe
Time spent contemplating the universe often reveals the underlying beauty of existence. Wandering alone along the shore I encounter beauty at every turn. Sometimes I laugh loudly at the sudden flight of shorebirds, or mutter to myself as I appreciate the translucent remains of a stranded jellyfish. These amazing creatures have been around for over a half billion years. There I stand with my hand-me-down iPhone half a dozen generations removed from the newest model, knowing everything I am holding will not survive even one hundred years. While this beautiful wonder will likely spread out into the future long beyond the age of humans.
The Japanese art of flower arrangement – Ikebana – seeks to make the arrangement appear as natural as possible and bring the flowers to life. The goal is to prolong the life of the flowers for as long as possible and to bring humans and nature together. This art, like so many Asian art forms, centers around minimalism. I treasure each day’s walk and the opportunity to discover such beauty as this temporary scene of kelp and shells. Washed in and arranged by the tide, it will all too soon disappear into the sand or be disassembled and washed away. The organic charm is magnetic.
Further down the beach there was this marvelous totem complete with piece of driftwood evocative of a worshiper. Like a ceremonial scene, the collection gave off a beautiful aura of authentic art. There for the day was a new show at the art gallery which is my beach. Masterful beauty fills my heart with joy. Wandering this gallery I am inspired to create. There on the sand I am joined by my muse, which after a while urges me towards home and the page – for writing or painting – on a good day – both.
As I returned, I was delighted by this magnificent dancing sculpture. Degas came to mind immediately. The captured movement and grace of this small-footed, long torso “dancer” harmonized with the divine beauty implanted in my soul. Do not allow worldly cares to obscure the grandeur in your life. Read a little poetry, listen to a little music, see a beautiful picture – live in grace.