Seeing beauty

In preparing myself for an online poetry session with David Whyte, I wandered out late in the afternoon, wanting to use sight to still and liberate my soul from the day’s activities.

The fading hydrangea in the lowering rays of the sun offered an entry point.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Pause and study its translucence, the way it carries its life history in its veins.

Delight in the quality of light and the way it lands, illuminating its rich hues.

Notice the textures, offering glorious difference and the tender vulnerability of age.

Not youthful vibrance, but a warm invitation to celebrate the fullness of life.

Rest and enjoy its beauty.

To beautify the gaze

John O’Donohue captures the mutual act of seeing so well in Divine Beauty:

The human gaze is not the closed, fixed view of a camera but is creative and constructive. Both the gaze that sees and the object that is seen construct themselves simultaneously in the one act of vision. So much depends then on how we see things. More often than not the style of gaze determines what we see. There are many things near us that we never notice simply because of the way we see. The way we look at things has a huge difference on what becomes visible for us… Each person is the sole inhabitant of their own inner world; no-one else can get in there to configure how things are seen. Each of us is responsible for how we see, and how we see determines what we see. Seeing is not merely a physical act: the heart of vision is shaped by the state of soul. When the soul is alive to beauty, we begin to see life in a fresh and vital way. The old habits of seeing are broken…

Go well and feed on what you see.