At the time of this writing, I have been spending a lot of time keeping dad company in the hospital due to some surgery and other health issues. That means I had no time this week to put together any flower arrangements. Hopefully, I’ll have some more of my time to devote to this segment of bluejayblog next week. Meantime, I’ve been thinking about a related topic.
Keeping a loved one company in a hospital room leaves plenty of time to fill in silence while he sleeps or simply rests. This quiet time has encouraged me to meditate or contemplate on various things. One of my favorite topics is beauty.
I’ve had plenty of time to see visual imagery of many types while sitting in the hospital room. There are the unpleasant sights that are the result of injury and illness. There are the clinical aspects of the room, its equipment, and surroundings. And there is the human element that is most important.
I have very subjective observations and opinions about beauty to note in my blog today.
Because the hospital triggered my topic, I’ll describe it, first. The medical-complex in my town is a very new architectural accomplishment. It is the result of an evolution consisting of building additions over several decades. The original structure is not even apparent. The present building is extremely attractive to my eyes. The interior, naturally, is clinical in appearance but not in a cold, impersonal manner. The overall design is warm, inviting, and actually beautiful.
Looking over the technical and mechanical features of the Intensive Care Unit room, I see an elegance of design and technology that is not only efficient, but beautifully so. From the equipment track railings on the ceiling to the equipment/data communication tower structures on the east wall, there is a futuristic attractiveness and attention to pleasing design. The room is tailored to the needs of the medical professionals, yet is attractive to anyone who enters it.
There is beauty in the people who are cared for. Despite his age and suffering, there is the familiar and pleasing appearance of my father’s face. I see him in an unfamiliar situation, I see his beauty in a new setting. There is also the beauty of watching him acclimate himself to his temporary surroundings.
The caretakers have their own beauty, as well. There is the warmth and concern that comes through in sincere measure that is seen in their actions and in the appearance of their faces. On a different level, the physical features and objective appearance of the employees at this hospital are classically beautiful by any standard. Their faces might very well grace the pages of a glossy magazine with their attractiveness.
Despite the physical beauty of the hospital, it is a place I want to get away from. The presence of urgency, illness, injury, and death cannot be divorced from the necessity of the hospital. In quiet moments, I can close my eyes for awhile to think and daydream.
There is no getting around the fact that we are subjective creatures. We have evolved to be attracted to physical beauty. I don’t care how diplomatic and polite we deeply wish to be, when push comes to shove, we’ll select beauty over less than beautiful anytime. The Taj Mahal beats a garbage dump when judged according to our standards of beauty. I’ll take the Grand Canyon over the inner city in a heartbeat.
Honestly, we know that we are drawn to physically handsome and beautiful human faces and bodies. This attraction attribute is in our DNA.
Beauty is a dangerous subject about which to write. A slip away from political correctness into the realm of too much honesty can greatly offend one’s readers. The subject is so dangerous that I can only offer the disclaimer, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
From childhood onwards, we notice that the gorgeous kids almost automatically become the most popular ones. It seems quite unfair to the rest of us “regular” people, but attraction to loveliness is the default mode of human behavior.
In that classically sexy people get preferential treatment is a basic fact of life, there’s no
getting around that fact. This is one reason for the bonanza of the health and beauty industry. By and large, people wish to appear as attractive as possible. To be completely honest, we all want this.
We notice beauty as we go about our daily activities. We might see a bouquet of gorgeous flowers in the florist’s shop window. You look at the sky and scattered clouds or stars.
There might be a particularly well designed building, such as the hospital I mentioned above. Or you get swept off your feet when you’re introduced to a stunningly attractive person. If you’ve suddenly noticed and stop to take in the visuals of the landscape, flowers, or person, all you can say is “WOW!” There’s no analysis needed nor attempted. You experience and merge with whatever it is you see. Language and reason go on a hike for a few moments.
Here’s a common scenario, we encounter a new acquaintence. Usually, we see the person before any other sense. Right away, we might notice the gender, the general shape of the body, hair, or lack of hair, appearance of the face, then clothing and accessories. What nationality or race might this person belong to? Perhaps something about the person just “clicks” and feels right about him. There is a certain beauty that he emits, but you can’t quite put your finger on what that might be.
Certainly there is some measure of love. The perception of beauty cannot happen without the presence of love. This seems to be a reversable condition in that the presence of love enables the perception of beauty. You can see this when you think about a handsome stranger passing by on the street compared with the appearance of your dear, loving friend. Without a doubt, you will likely find that your friend is more deeply beautiful and attractive than the sexy stranger you noticed, earlier.
But why? Is there an objective, reason for this depth of beauty? I’m not scientifically sure about this. I can only offer you my opinions about beauty. You can take my general belief that you cannot have enrapturing beauty without the presence of love and the reverse requirement of no love, no enrapturing beauty. There is beauty of appearance or form, there is beauty in action or performance, and there is beauty in speech.
When my mind picks up on some slight sense of a vibe or I feel a genuine sense of authenticity. This feeling enhances the physical sensations, I detect a beauty that envelopes every one of my perceptions and thoughts. There is that initial “WOW!” followed by a calm, wise feeling of rightness and perfection.
Something or someone is just overwhelmingly beautiful. That belief comes over you in a split second. You never have to struggle to experience this love and beauty. There is no discipline, technique, coursework nor religious belief to undertake in order to experience love and beauty. It just is.
There is a love of beauty within the architect that’s apparent when you see the end result of his stunningly constructed building. There is an inner, personal love of beauty inside of your mind when you notice a breathtaking landscape. Needless to say, there is love and beauty when you and your friend or lover interact together. The dictionary and encyclopedia are powerless to honestly bring forth true beauty.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you’ll take the time to fully enjoy something you find completely beautiful today.