In Pursuit of Beauty

Setting the Scene

I was deep in dialogue with a friend…actually it may be more accurate to say I was listening to the challenges of a woman for whom I serve as a coach and mentor though she has become a close friend. Marie was struggling through a number of life circumstances that were simply overwhelming.

I offered a few thoughts that seemed to be helpful, and then heard myself share the following. I did not know it was my story until I heard myself say it.

 

My Story

Many years ago I had a mentor that helped me through a difficult time. One day Patrick took me on a day trip to the Clark Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. While I had virtually no exposure to the arts, he thought it would be a good experience.

There was much to see, as one would expect with world-class art. And I was amazed on many occasions. After lunch we went to another wing and got separated along the way. As I meandered I turned a corner and came face to face with a woman captured in a painting. She was sniffing a rose, and that flower was realer than real.

It was a moment suspended; I was overwhelmed. It was as if I had never seen a rose. More importantly, an artist had seen and represented something ephemeral. All I remember is standing and breathing. Transported. Smitten. A spiritual experience of its kind.

Here’s the curious part.

Since that day, beauty has become a necessity for me. In retrospect, I realize that I was in the middle of a very difficult time in my life. Beauty found me and lifted me above myself.

Whether gardens, or galleries, or museums, or nature itself…I seek beauty to be restored. Through that beauty has come to be inspiration, and perhaps sustenance itself.

As I have come to more greatly appreciate beauty, I find it more easily. Even in every day life. And the more I find it, the more it appears. It is a cycle of beauty. Beauty begets beauty, which I then experience and internalize.

Today when I see beauty rising, I stop and breathe. It becomes me.

It should be no surprise that I encouraged Marie to seek out beauty to help her manage her challenges. I was simply passing on what had been freely given to me. I just didn’t know it.

Seeing True

“Walk in beauty,” say the Dine people.

It could not be otherwise.

Seeing True in Action

A somewhat dated way of talking about beauty, usually with women, is to say something is “becoming.” Imagine that, to “be come” is beautiful.

What is be coming you? Where and how does beauty find you? What will you do to become?