I came across this post last year and have been holding onto it ever since. It was written by Sherry Antonetti who blogs at Chocolate For Your Brain. (Emphasis added by yours truly.) It is a wonderful reflection about our need for beauty.
by Sherry Antonetti
…I wanted a scene of peace and beauty because with our 24-7 news cycle, politics, internet noise and the speed of our lives that often seems beyond our control or understanding, we need the stillness that beauty invokes. But the question had always lingered for me, why is beauty the answer?
We need that moment of awe that comes and makes everything better without explanations. It brings us back to being fully human. A baby’s toothless smile, a letter in the mail, a found ripe tomato amongst the ravaged remains of a summer garden, these are treasures designed to help us through such times when the very air feels moist with dullness. Prayer, a phone call from a family member, a visit from a friend, these are things which refresh and restore.
The deeper grace that comes from beauty is designed to get us through the dullness and tedium that otherwise threatens to engulf the daily grind of life. Falling in love makes us remember we are more than here. Reading a great book or seeing a fine film does to, because we can forget time and place not because of instinct, but because of a higher appeal than can be described and understood through the mechanics of science. Our need for beauty is not limited to sexual appetites, we need and desire it for all our desires. It is hard wired and further in than the DNA.
That is part of why hunting for beauty often fails, it relies too much on the physical senses for validation.
Beauty comes unbidden. It reveals itself in little ways like wild flowers and a favorite song on the radio, the desirous kiss of one’s spouse, the hand holding of a child, and in larger doses like reading the daily gospel and knowing somehow, that reading was picked just for you because you would need it today. Most of beauty comes with our hearts unaware of how fully it is desired or needed.
The animal in us does not understand the need for such indulgences; the spirit however, is starved for things like flowers and hugs on birthdays, fires in hearths even when the home is warm, and music that fills the air without clattering. God knows this deep need echoes His deep love and pours out this beauty in sunshine and rain showers and seasons and creatures and people. It is to teach us that beauty is indeed, necessary. God took the time to arrange the stars for our pleasure, out of love for us. We are to be about the business of arranging stars for others here from that same impulse to please and to love and to serve. Continue reading…
More from the Concerning Beauty Series: