I read this article about beauty today. In it, the author parallels "pretty" and "beautiful". The author says that "prettiness is the enemy of beauty--the blandness and acceptability of pretty cancels out beauty's greatness, grandeur and presence." While there is acceptance in pretty, there is power in beauty.
Beauty isn't traditional. It isn't symmetrical and it darn sure doesn't always make sense. Frances Bacon, a 16th century philosopher, once said that that "there is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion." Despite the difference in era, this concept of beauty seems particularly right for now.
"We crave beauty because of it's rarity", Emma Summerton says. She goes on to say how notions of beauty are entirely immediate and personal. "Beauty", she says, "is directly related a moment and a reaction to something."
"It's like pain. What matters is the experience of it in the here and now."
Believe it or not, I have been writing. It is writing that is unapologetically honest. I've written about what it's like to not have a holiday every year. I've written about pride, ownership, and entitlement. I've written about love and how it's not all you need in life. And I've written about the notion of not being able to choose who you fall in love with. I'm not done yet.
I've written about how something must be wrong with me because some of the best things in my life are not, as previously promised, free. In fact, some of the best things in my life are what are preventing me from quitting my job. Catch 22, anyone?
None of it is pretty. But I think it's beautiful prose. And in the spirit of being nonsensical, I want to shout it from the rooftops.
Unfortunately I've been scared to publish my writing ever since my blog started coming up at the dinner table.
First it was in passing. My dad was mingling with a group and someone pulled it up on their blackberry. I felt a little exposed, a tad misunderstood, but at the end of the day, I got over it. Then Shannel and I were enjoying pancakes when she told me she read my blog and wanted to start one of her own. I chewed my bacon and spit out some encouragement. I think people should be able to do whatever they want to do.
Most recently, I went to homecoming at my beloved alma mater and was reunited with my girlfriends. While in the midst of a collective Ya-Ya, a few admitted that they too had read my blog and sometimes worried about me. Sigh. But again, at the end of the day I got over it.
I've found that dinner table dialogue is oft indicative of a turning point in my life. When I wanted to move 400 miles away from home as a teenager, we talked about it at the dinner table. My parents let me go and it changed my life--I learned to be responsible.
I remember when I recognized the exact moment my name started coming up at dinner tables as a manager. All of a sudden, spouses 'knew' me, kids 'knew' me, and everything I did or said was open to their interpretation. My sense of purpose had transformed from a job to a duty. I was affecting other people's lives and in turn, it changed my own. I learned how to be thoughtful.
Being the subject of dinner table dialogue makes you focus on how you're accepted instead of just whether you're accepted. The 'how' is life changing, folks. Ultimately, you learn how to be grateful.
In theory, everyone has their own life litmus test. It's been said that Madonna uses Frida Kahlo's My Birth as her litmus test. She uses peoples' reactions to the painting to determine whether she will or will not get along with them. It's that special to her.
Someday, someone will read my blog and use it as a test for me. They will determine whether they will or will not accept me simply based on my words. It may be a soul-mate. It may be an employer. It may be someone who has the capability to change my life. If I am misunderstood, I wonder if I will just get over it.
My blog is at the point where it needs structure. Adding a focus will help me to post regularly and fine-tune my writing skills. My blog needs a goal. But I feel like I need to decide whether this blog was a creative decision or a business one, and I'm struggling with the either/or. The struggle ain't pretty.
Irreverent mixes have always been appealing to me. From leather and lace to business and blogging, for me, irreverent mixes are beautiful. Beauty is some strong stuff and keeping this blog beautiful may be the direction I take. Everything has a cost.
In the meantime, thanks for reading. Tonight I talked about you at my dinner table...