Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Sense Of The Beautiful

“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” 
 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


For years when my daughters were at home and in school, this quote was stuck on the side of our refrigerator. I wanted them to understand that beauty is important. (A modern version of this 17th century quote is "stop and smell the roses.") When there is too much to do or life is beating you up, it's okay–it's necessary even—to take time to find it.

Usually for me, it's something like admiring a beautiful tree as I'm zooming down the road, or listening to a favorite CD while I'm working in the kitchen. Or, taking two seconds to stop and really look at a painting on our own walls. Or, even finding the lovely purple flowers that bloom in the weeds in our yard. They look like little violets and they always make me smile. If you seek out beauty every day, it becomes a habit. I'm always on the lookout for that unexpected bright spot.


But yesterday Daddy-O and I did more than that. Sweet Daddy-O took me to an exhibit I've wanted to see for weeks. We drove to Columbia to see the traveling exhibit, Impressionism from Monet to Matisse. It was a wonderful collection of paintings from the well-known Impressionist painters along with many others I was not familiar with. How good to see and learn new things.


But we equally enjoyed the permanent collection. The mind of the artist just goes places mine own mind doesn't even know about. It's like a breath of fresh air to see the world turned slightly askew.


The most fun exhibit? (Don't tell Monet.) It was Runaway Runway -- dresses made from trash. Every "dress" was interesting. But as the mother of a ballet dancer (Mommy studied ballet for years) this one spoke to me. Pointe shoes wear out so quickly. We still have a few pair here in a drawer somewhere, all frayed and worn. How brilliant to do something unexpected with the old shoes. You should recognize that the skirt of the dress is made from the old shoes. I didn't immediately it but the bodice of this dress is made from the ribbons of the shoes.

Thank you Daddy-O for a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Tamara said...

Wow! I think we could make a dress out of pointe shoes, too...