Sunday, September 30, 2007

Que Linda? Pero, Hay Mas . . .

Language has always fascinated me. It's myriad incarnations and definitions and translations and uses, it's misuses . . . it's strange way of attempting to capture the indescribable. While I'm most familiar with English, I know bits and pieces, small fragments of a few of the romance languages and their respective roots of origin. Nevertheless, I am intrigued by each and every aural utterance and sentence I hear, my curiosity further compounded by regional accents, pronunciation and utility. Corners of conversations, profound statements and bumper stickers alike get my linguistic fires burning.

I stumbled across a book today in a sleepy book vender's shop in a quaint, small Northern California town. It's title drew me in, "Six Names of Beauty." Simple, concise and the perfect tip-of-the-iceberg hook that spoke to all that lies beneath the surface of one word that dictates so much of contemporary culture. Since day one, I imagine beauty has held influential court in ancient societies, nevertheless, considering that beauty supposedly lies in the eye of the beholder, the specific word beauty has not, and does not represent what we think it embodies in contemporary society. I like that fact. I appreciate that beauty is defined in ways that many of us never imagine it would or even could be. Certain qualities in our every day lives are overlooked as being considerably beautiful. I look forward to further excavating beauty as terminology, as fact, as static and as ultimately definable. While I think I know my own personal definition of what beauty consists of, I hope to embrace those characteristics - physical, visual and mental - and then realize that beauty dwells in every angle of life.

I think beauty resides in the photographs capturing a piece of painted sidewalk cement, the smell of a brand new, never been cracked open book, it's in the taste of a pungent tear laced with black mascara, the unsettled feeling of lust induced butterflies mixed with nausea, the heavy, sleepily weary voice I speak with when I first rise, it occurs in showcasing the ability to be humble and carve out a niche for forgiveness - albeit an often bitter to swallow thick pride, it's found in sore muscles begging for deep pressure therapy and all the moments in between moments of knowing, and having no idea whatsoever . . . I find all of the above to encompass inherent, unexpected and forgotten "beauty." Take a gander at how various cultures, and by extension languages, have come to denote the idea of "beauty."

1) Beauty, English - the object of longing.
2) Yapha, Hebrew - glow, bloom.
3) Sundara, Sanskrit - holiness.
4) To Kalon, Greek - idea, ideal.
5) Wabi-Sabi, Japanese - humility, imperfection.
6)Hozho, Navajo - health, harmony.

So then friends, where, how, why and in what do you find beauty, or allow it to be defined, in your world. Maybe even the most imperfect, odd and sorrow ridden days and moments are those brimming with the most authentic beauty? Perhaps many a vividly visceral, remarkably raw and sadly sensory recorded seconds are indeed filled with just that, just pure beauty.

For further exploration, look at the front flap notes in this.

Yes, I think Bridgette Bardot possesses beauty, yet in an incarnation I never before considered.

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