Thursday, March 5, 2009

What is Beauty?

Just saw the movie Australia.  Loved it!  

The music, the cinematography, the script, the acting all combined to build a wonderfully entertaining picture.  After I watched the movie I spent a few minutes watching the trailers.  I’d like to blog just a little on movie trailers sometime.  Making a movie trailer itself is an art form.  

Point is the whole experience made me think about the word “Beauty.”   What makes something beautiful?  What decides beauty?  What is it in a photo that captures our heart?  Makes us smile?  Brings a gasp?  Holds our attention?  Stays in our memory?  Why do we buy paintings?  Replay scenes?  Reread books?  

What is beauty?

Merry and Web say it’s “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.”

Oh PLEASE!  That’s a most pitiful definition for such a captivating substance.  I don’t look at an Ansel Adams and think, “Woah, that photo gives pleasure to my visual senses!”  “Man, did you hear that song?  My mind felt so totally exalted!”  

I’m not really trying to mock the dictionary definition.  What they write is true, but it doesn’t nearly capture the scope of the word.  I must admit though that I’m sitting down to write this because, frankly, I can’t do a better job.  

How do you plumb the depths of such a word without reverting to mere sterile language?  

As a fifth grader I listened to my teacher read a book called “The Search for Delicious.”  At least I think that’s what it was called.  The characters spent 100 pages of book on the quest to define the term “Delicious.”  

In essence here is what I’m struggling with:

  • What is beauty?
  • What makes something beautiful (maybe that’s the same question)?
  • How is God connected with beauty (beside the obvious)?
  • How does the creation, observation, or exaltation of beauty relate to the realization, observation, and exaltation of God?

I don’t have any answers.  Not tonight anyway.  You can tell this is just a mixing bowl for two hours worth of ruminations.  What do you think? 

What is beauty?

No comments: