I found this quote in a book I am currently reading. I loved the words and was not quite sure why they resonated with me but I put them to a picture I had taken just yesterday morning. I love skylines; sunsets and sunrises being my favorite. There is nothing quite as beautiful to me as the sun waking up or going to bed. I could just sit and watch it for the entire time without actually thinking (which is quite rare for me). Sometimes, like yesterday morning I will pull over on the side of the road and take a minute to enjoy.
So what is beauty? And who actually determines what is beautiful? Not all people are like me and get up before the sun. Some people believe I am crazy for this (I know, pfft… whatever). Some look at this picture and get nothing out of it. I’m not crazy about city skylines. Really does nothing for me, that concrete jungle with all the lights that interrupt the beauty of the stars. So what works for you does not necessarily work for me.
They (whoever ‘they’ are) say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Shakespeare, John Lyly, Benjamin Franklin and countless others have put the same thought into different words. Numerous songs have been written and sung on this topic. So while many have written or sang about this, the truth is, beauty is perspective. So what one finds as beautiful, another will look sideways at it and think “what the hell does she see in THAT?”
But that quote really stuck with me and the words are still muddling around in my brain. “Beautiful is what we see” is the first line. That makes sense to me. I can grasp that concept. You look at something and see the lights, the shading, and the image. Yup. Makes complete sense to me. And Nicolaus doesn’t quantify this. He doesn’t tell us what he sees as beautiful, he just says that we see it. Each of us. So much like the others that have tried to tell us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Nicolaus is telling us that it is our choice. That what we chose to be beautiful is. It’s that simple.
“More beautiful is what we understand”. Again, I can relate to this line. It’s like when you have a really deep conversation with someone and you just get what they are saying. Again, it’s kind of abstract though. We understand the rising and setting of the sun. I am in awe of it actually. Every day, you know that big ball of light is going to be rising in the east and every night it will be setting in the west. That’s all science. But what about the deeper things that only we understand. I love my kids like no one else can or ever will. No matter what they do or what they say to me, that will never stop. I understand that. Kinda.
“Most beautiful is what we do not comprehend”. The last line. That’s where I get stuck. How can it be beautiful if I don’t comprehend it?? Now what the heck do you mean by that Nicolaus?? Do you mean that even though I think something is beautiful I don’t need to analyze it to death? Do you mean that I should just let it be beautiful? Do you mean that not everything has an explanation? My brain is not wired this way; to just let it be. I remember back in third or fourth grade when my teacher was explaining a math formula to the class. Me being me, did not quite understand the concept and so I questioned it. Again and again and again. My teacher finally had enough of my questions and said something along the lines of “we do it this way just because”. Well then.
I’m not good at ‘just because’. Apparently I never have been. I am a questioner. I ask lots of questions to try and figure out why. I actually get quite frustrated when there isn’t an answer. There has to be an answer!! There is always an answer!! But when I think on why I love my kids… there it is. Just because. Oh, I could list many reasons why I love them but none quite hit the mark. This ‘just because’ also plays into my mind set right now. I need to go… away… not be here… where I call home. Why?? Well I am really not sure. And that scares the hell out of me. I could rack my brain looking for answers to this question as I purge my belongings. I have actually done this questioning. I have tried to look deep within myself when someone asks why I am selling my house. I have tried to answer all the questions people have when I tell them of my plan to pack up my Santé Fa and had south, no real destination in mind. But I can’t answer those questions fully when they look back at me wondering if maybe I have indeed gone off the deep end. The answer really is ‘just because’.
Just because I have this longing to see what is out there. I want to discover something along the way. I am looking for the answers many of you are asking me. I think they may be out there somewhere. I’m not sure.
So “most beautiful is what we do not comprehend” is on repeat in my mind right now. Maybe I’ll figure out what that means. Maybe I won’t. But I sure as hell am not going to sit on my ass waiting for the answer to come to me. It’s just not my style.