Beauty and the Soul, a book like its name, is beautiful and soulful, and it's wonderful because it's written by a man, which debunks the myth that men cannot be sensitive to beauty that are soulful. I love his keen insight about how beauty doesn't have to be limited as an experience in art museums or luxury goods, which modern city people are accustomed to think. His book challenge his readers to see beauty in a whole new way, to open ourselves up to the beauty of each moment and be present to capture that essence.
For me, beauty is so essential to keep us alive and joyous. One of my weakness I realized is that I lived so much up on my head. Thinking thoughts of the past and future, reliving mistakes and nostalgic memories, hoping or worrying for a future that has yet to arrived. I lived so much in the space of my head that in moments where I am awakened, I think-oh no, how much beauty of the present moment have I missed because I grasped at illusions? Not good, not good.
I don't want to sleepwalk in a dream state, I wish to be awake and seize each moment. That, I felt, is being truly alive, is being an active participant with the world.
(So today, when it rained which has always been my favourite weather, I seized my camera and captured the refreshing raindrops showering my garden.)
Beauty is free, beauty can be found easily. If you but noticed.
(Behind my house, the scenery feels foreign when it rains. I'm still practising with my camera. I know I do need more practice, both with being present and with using my camera.)
I remembered there was a rare moment, after gym and I walked home. I passed a row of trees sheltering me from the sunlight. It wasn't a particularly hot day. Just nice. It was a place that I passed by daily, usually in a car. Yet maybe because I walked the experience was different. The way the sunlight was seeping through the space between the leaves caught me in a state of breathlessness, I was left so speechless by the play of light and shadows on my skin, and the beauty of that moment was so piercingly vivid that a space in my heart was forced open to receive, and I could only respond with tears.
Thinking back, I could judge myself as being silly to be so overly sentimental. But I know it's me being present, to allow myself to be vulnerable in the face of beauty. Caught unaware. To be transformed into a state of awareness.
A beautiful new born baby bird ready to take flight to experience the world. My Mom and I took such drastic measures like covering the plant with a plastic bag so the crows will not know the existence of the nest. I felt fiercely protective of birds who laid eggs and make nest in our garden. I think it's a very natural maternal instincts. As a woman, to want to nurture and protect. Even though it's not my child, and it's not even a human. But life, in whatever form it takes, is precious. Thinking back, it was funny how protective we got.
Maybe because a new life is just so beautiful in its fragility, and also on its limitless potential.