Of Rain and Beauty
It is raining again...prompting soft thoughts of beauty and loveliness.
There is a reason, I think, why museums are so delightfully crammed on grey, stormy days. Art, simple and complex, muddled with colors and caressed with strokes of a brush. Oil and color and vision swirled together in a swath of emotion and lines and life, made all the more vivid on days of gloom and dampness.
Why music, soft and haunting, fills the spaces and moments of quiet. The aching strains of a violin and deep throbbing of a cello that touch the air, the soul, with a gentle, discernible mark. With a stain of loveliness so sweet and secret that tears almost form. Breath catches, spirit stills. And wonder fills, swells, rises beneath our skin.
Why the verdant green of trees and leaves becomes more lush, more magical, more deep somehow, keen and fresh in the feather-soft grey of an overcast day.
Why we turn to tea and coffee and chocolate, in frail cups with thin petals of china, and sturdy mugs of solidity and warmth. Finding comfort, and strangely enough, the sense of home and belonging in the warm stain of pale brown clouded with creamy milk or deep and dark and rich, secure in a bitterness that is curiously sweet to our souls.
Why books, the dearest and oldest friends for so many, beckon and embrace with the gentle weight of words. Words that enfold us, fill our mind and senses, flowing across the page and into our fingers, imbuing our blood with story and hues, songs and poetry -- flashes of feelings and places that perhaps we have known, or only dreamed of.
Beauty so curiously and wonderfully marks our souls. Stirs us. It moves and changes, always for the better, our understanding of creation and even ourselves. Beautiful things...lovely things. They are so precious and small. And yet --like all lovely things, like all of creation-- so much grander and larger than themselves.
Mozart's Requiem is always bigger when you return to it. Time is leaven to lovely things, writes Joshua Gibs. Beautiful, gentle, lovely words themselves that settle and warm deep within:
"There are certain substances (maybe all substances) that can be so rendered, affected, touched, furnished, submitted— loved, really— that they do not break against the heavy leaning weight of time, but grow as time pours into them. When you taste a fine Pecorino, you are not merely tasting milk, but milk and time. Time is powerful and violent and terrible, but love can tame time. The Acropolis is stone which has tamed time. The blue in the windows at Chartres Cathedral is a color which has tamed time. Wine is grape juice which has tamed time. The Nicene Creed is a poem which has tamed time."
There is something haunting, something humbling and awe-inspiring in that...what I find beautiful and lovely, what moves and stirs me, has been found beautiful by, has moved, has stirred countless other souls, before me, and will, after me. Time passes and leans and grows and deepens, and still these things of beauty, of loveliness, go on.
Time is leaven to lovely things. We must hunger after them, after the beautiful and the good, as George Eliot says.
I sit, hushed and silent, notebooks piled near, cup of coffee a dear companion, facing a window --always, always a window and clear, soft light -- to see the rain, filling my ears with gentle quivering notes of Ennio Morricone coaxed into air by Yo-Yo Ma.
And keeping my heart, my mind, my soul open to receive these lovely things that are beautiful and good.