Show me something beautiful.
Do not wear black, its generic. Do not wear red, its cliché. Do not go naked, it’s trying too hard to make a statement. Be authentic, be yourself. But to be yourself, you need to know yourself. And to know yourself you need exploration, and like all exploratory surgery, it can hurt like hell.
How do you define beauty? Is it something observed, or something created? Is it natural, or man-made? Which one of your senses does it tickle? The gentle sense of touch through a satin glove? The dulcet tones of a piano being pounded in passion? The interplay of light and shadow upon the eye? The delicate aroma of vanilla and cinnamon? The dancing of fire on the tongue from spice? Maybe movement, the fleeting silver steps of a tango or gracefulness of a waltz? Or is it more than that, an internal, visceral response? Something indefinable, a “feeling” in the gut? Or something that quite literally, takes your breath away?
I remember someone once telling me “Beauty is that which moves the soul, it is that which gives, but does not take”. The quote in itself is beautiful – I have no idea as to its origins, those words. The Google is not much help either, but I stand by those words. And there is not enough of that around. Things which give, and does not take.
“Art should disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed”, they say. Really? It should? Or it could? And since when is art purely a disruptive force? Did Degas do his gentle pastels of ballet dancers because it comforted the disturbed and disturb the comfortable? When Monet celebrated colour in his Poppy Field, was his intention to be disruptive, or was it purely something for its own sake? When did “beauty” lose its place in our art? And in our music? When did the truly brilliant mastery of the instrument become a tertiary factor next to public image and marketability? When did everything that was once beautiful and simplicity and elegant and capable of moving the soul, degenerate into things that are disposable and marketable and please god, not too intellectually taxing?
Show me something beautiful. Show me that which moves your soul, takes your breath away. Show me something that you have pain-stakingly created, not just picked up off the ground and called it “art”. Show me something that took commitment to complete, not just a rushed effort and called it “passion”. Passion is a fat, bald guy yelling profanities at a television screen because his football team is doing badly, but it will never be art. Passion is a three year old little kid throwing a temper tantrum in a sweet shop, but it will never be beautiful.
Show me something beautiful. Show me the glorious fuckups. Show me the frustrating half-finished works you’ve been battling for years to complete, but lack the courage to do so. Show me the reams of re-written prose of words you’ve never quite managed to make dance. Show me your authenticity. Show me your soul. Lay it bare.
Your beauty is precious, and deserves your quality of attention. Your beauty cannot be hastily satisfied by disposable anonymous pop-music creations. Your beauty cannot be satisfied by a hasty scrawl, or a quick flick of a pen. Your beauty deserves to be more than a mere 15-second outburst of unbridled passion. Your beauty deserves to be tenderly coaxed out into its lustrous existence. It deserves that you treat it with respect. Your beauty deserves your originality, it is in no need of imitation. It is by definition authentic, not an obsolete imitation. It deserves to be broken into the world gently, kindly, with due diligence and respect. This beauty is not cheap – it comes at a cost, and that cost is invaluable.
Find your beauty, and show it to the world.