beauty

Fix our attention on the beautiful

It is wisest and best to fix our attention on the beautiful and the good, and dwell as little as possible on the evil and false...

~ Richard Cecil

We learned to feel beauty

Knowledge was inherent in all things.
The world was a library and its books
Were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks...
We learned to do what only the students
of nature ever learn, that was to feel beauty.

~ Luther Standing Bear
My Indian Boyhood
By Luther Standing Bear

When we come upon beautiful things

The surfaces of the world are aesthetically uneven. You come around a bend in the road and the world suddenly falls open. When we come upon beautiful things... they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.

~ from ON BEAUTY AND BEING JUST by Elaine Scarry
On Beauty and Being Just
By Elaine Scarry

Beauty is God's handwriting

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful; for beauty is God's handwriting–a wayside sacrament. Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower, and thank God for it as a cup of blessing...

~ Ralph W. Emerson

Living in a world of beauty

We are living in a world of beauty, but few of us open our eyes to see it.

~ Lorado Taft

The inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead

One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space. Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages. Otherwise there was no reminder of human life. My companion and I were alone with the stars: the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon. It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators. But it can be seen many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.

~ Rachel Carson
Silent Spring
By Rachel Carson

Beauty if harmony manifesting

Beauty is harmony manifesting its own intrinsic nature in the world of form.

~ Manly P. Hall

In beauty it is finished

Happily, may I walk.
Happily, with abundant showers,
may I walk.
Happily, with abundant plants,
may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.

~ from THE NAVAJO NIGHT CHANT14
The Night Chant: A Navaho Ceremony
By Washington Matthews

The pursuit of beauty

Every true artist does feel, consciously or unconsciously, that [he] is touching transcendental truths; that [his] images are shadows of things seen through the veil. In other words, the natural mystic does know that there is something there; something behind the clouds or within the trees; but [he] believes that the pursuit of beauty is the way to find it...

~ G. K. Chesterton in THE EVERLASTING MAN
The Everlasting Man
By G.K. Chesterton

July-August 2015 (Vol. XXVIII, No. 7)

Dear Friends ~ In a world filled with such ugliness and hatred, violence and sorrow, is beauty a luxury we really cannot afford? A distraction or false covering like the "sheep's clothing" thrown hurriedly over the wolf's crouching back? Or is beauty as necessary to our souls as the air we breathe is to our bodies? Nurturing beauty is a way to see beyond and within, to envision other possibilities, to dare to give care and attention to wholeness. In Matthew Fox's ORIGINAL BLESSING, he quotes Adrienne Rich as she names the world's desperate need for the unleashing of our creative power:

the passion to make and make again
where such unmaking reigns
the refusal to be a victim
we have lived with violence so long

Let us, therefore, choose making and remaking. Let us seek out beauty, pay attention to it, cultivate it, and create it in our work, in our homes, in our relationships, and our land.

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