"I'm going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life"
There are so many definitions of beauty, it almost makes one's head spin. The world defines beauty so many ways, often contradicting itself. It's a wonder we have any sense of true beauty at all.
But there is something down deep, way down deep, that knows the difference from false beauty and true beauty. We must go on an adventure to discover what beauty means to each one of us. It's that moment that lights us up inside, that causes us to pause, stand in awe, and gasp in speechless wonder. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, if you think long enough. We've all had those moments in life.
For some, it's a dazzling sun rise or sun set. For others it's staring straight up at the tall skyscrapers in a big city. For still others, it is being surrounded by those they love. A picture, a child, even a river sandbank, all can cause us to to stop and reflect upon our definitions of beauty.
Beauty is mostly thought about from a seeing perspective; we see something beautiful and it causes emotions, thoughts, and processes to happen within us. But what about seeking beauty through our other senses? What about music that strikes a cord in our souls? What about kind words, filling our ears? what about the smell of our favorite food, perfume, or flower to cause us to reflect and ponder?
I think there is too much yuck and junk and ugliness in our world. I want to be an agent of beauty. I want my words, my deeds, my actions, my thoughts, to create beauty and inspire others to create beauty. A kind word, a nice gesture, a new piece of art, a new perspective on life - I want to leave behind me a path of beauty that others can find and share. I want to touch others at their core, creating a little individual beauty and shutting out the not so beautiful parts.
This yearning to create beauty is part of the reason I take photographs. Each moment in time can be a snapshot of redefining beauty. For example, anyone who lives along the Mississippi River could laugh when I say I think the river is beautiful. I mean it doesn't have the nickname the Muddy Mississippi for nothing! But that muddy water is part of my hometown, and part of my childhood, a part of me. Spending time staring at the rushing river from the shore, or cruising upstream in a boat, the river strengths me. The views from the middle of the river are unique and cannot be seen by all. There is a beauty unseen that must be discovered in the river, ever changing as the seasons that come and go.
Like this sandbar. This spot could have been underwater if the river had been high enough. But during this boating trip, it was beckoning to us to stand and walk its sandy edges. I could see my footprints being swept away by the current as I crept along. The sky was so bright blue, it reflected off the river's surface. The red metal train bridge and tall, H bridge loomed in the distance, strong in the background of the river. It was just such a warm, summer's day, that all had to be right in the world.
This "river rat's" view of beauty in that moment bubbled up within me, and joy poured forth as I snapped photo after photo of the scenes just beyond my camera lens.
Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. But I don't want to just behold beauty, I want to create it, wherever I go. Whether through the viewfinder of my camera phone, or from the lips of my mouth, I want to create true beauty in all forms, wherever I go. May this be my life long ambition - and perhaps inspire you into yours.
Photo taken with iPhone 4, September 2014, Burlington, IA.
Copyrighted Reflections of Revelation.