Today’s IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY TOOL—THE EYES.
“Exploring the poetry of Beauty” might be a more appropriate title since that’s what’s on the agenda. My life has been sorely lacking in beauty and I’m in need of massive portions of it to balance the uglies. (Last week, the police found a body in the woods just down the road from me. Life is precious and it is painful.)
In light of that, maybe you need a good dose of beauty, too.
We’ll get to the whole business of eyes but first I want to answer some of my own aching questions.
What is Beauty?
I like this definition:
The quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses and is associated with such properties as harmony of form or color, excellence of artistry, truthfulness, and originality.
Sound familiar? I rhink ir sounds like poetry. Every type of poetry—visual, the poetry of nature, babies, women, music, dance, emotion, etc.
Where is beauty?
I could humor you and say it’s here and there and everywhere. Sometimes beauty does appear before us and that is a great gift but often to find beauty we must do the hard work of searching.
Bear with me as I define “search.” It might seem like a no-brainer. Except for the fact that we miss so much. We think we see, but we don’t. Time, motion, commotion, concerns, chaos, cacophonies, not enough silence, too much silence. All of these block beauty.
Okay, one more definition.
What does it mean to search?
To make a thorough examination of; look over carefully in order to find something; explore; to examine in order to find something lost or concealed.
It’s that “lost or concealed” part that concerns me. Or rather delights me. The gems are found in the journey of searching.
In the beginning
For me, the Search for Visual Beauty begins with the Genesis of Visual Beauty. In the beginning, if you will. The Genesis of visual beginning is with our eyes. What we set before our eyes can create a world of neurological excitement, soothing pleasures, and wonder inside our brains. We can literally transform how we feel by what we see. And if it is Beautiful to you (beauty is in the eye of . . . ) it creates pleasure to the mind. (See definition above.)
In addition, what we see stimulates what we write. A bonus.
When we write a poem in answer or response to an image, it’s called Ekphrasis Poetry.
For today I am exploring the Genesis of Image in response to a photo manipulation by Jon Allen Rowader, a professional photographer in Houston who has an acute eye for light, angles, pattern, and texture.
Jon and I grew up near each other in the Chicago area. He’s been a photographer for thirty-six years and twelve of those years he worked with the federal government in Washington DC. The majority of that time he was assigned to the Executive Branch as a photographer under four Presidential Administrations. He has an eye for composition. Even the White House says so. (So , does Hollywood, it appears.) When I saw Jon’s images, I wanted to use them in my quest for poetic beauty and he kindly granted me the privilege.
In the blog world, the host is supposed to offer a call to action. It’s some rule somewhere. So, I charge you with this: Take some time. To See. And then challenge yourself to write in response to beauty. Search for it. Reveal it. Write it.
“The Genesis of Beauty” by J.lynn Sheridan In the beginning where beauty shone first Creation groaned shadow foamed in wandering moons and there was motion revolving pointing in the stark white of night.
Day-glow fevered reds and blue expanse golden hues unite earthy June and sky.
In the beginning. Image. Eye. Delight.