Beauty Is an Act of the Mind

Rose and Auguste Rodin on their wedding day, Meudon, 29 January 1917

Beauty is not an image or a comparison of images. It is an act of the mind – a completely personal act. There is no beauty without context, without a relationship between an I and a you, face to face. If you do not understand, I will have to consider you dangerous, mad, and shameless. For you do not give up easily. You are a modern man. For you, fences are made to be jumped.

Denis de Rougemont
Second Postcard Dialogue: Physical Beauty
The Growl of Deeper Waters (1976)

What is beauty? It’s what you love.

Yoko Ono
Tweet (2011)

Photo by Pierre Choumoff: Rose and Auguste Rodin on their wedding day, Meudon, 29 January 1917

Sublime Tobacco

Photo by Nicolas Tikhomiroff: Orson Welles, 1964

Sublime tobacco! which, from east to west,
Cheers the Tar’s labor or the Turkman’s rest;
Which on the Moslem’s ottoman divides
His hours, and rivals opium and his brides;
Magnificent in Stamboul, but less grand,
Though not less loved, in Wapping or the Strand;
Divine in hookahs, glorious in a pipe,
When tipped with amber, mellow, rich and ripe;
Like other charmers, wooing the caress
More dazzlingly when daring in full dress;
Yet they true lovers more admire, by far,
Thy naked beauties – Give me a cigar!

Lord Byron
The Island, Canto II, stanza XIX (1823)

Photo by Nicolas Tikhomiroff: Orson Welles, 1964

Music for Staring at the Sea

Sunday afternoon I was sitting by the shore at Alki Beach when this music came up on my iPod. The combination of time, place, sight and sound gave me big big chills.

I can’t replicate the moment for you, but here is the music. Now go find your moment.

Friend?
Music by Carter Burwell
Gods and Monsters (1998)

Photo by Hiroshi Sugimoto: Indian Ocean, Bali, 1991