Note to Self.

I'm a bit flummoxed.

I feel as if I had drawn a sketch of the Mona Lisa before bed,
intending to get up and paint it this morning . . .

only to find out upon awaking
that someone already painted the Mona Lisa
and did a REALLY GOOD JOB. 

There's no need for another Mona Lisa.

You see, I intended to write a little essay about beauty here today -- started planning it yesterday.  It seemed like the January thing to do.  I had found some nice quotes, chosen some images . . . and then last night I finally finished the book I've been reading --

I know I complained about it in the beginning, because it made me feel -- how to best say it -- STUPID.


My dear friends, the beauty at the end left me weeping like a baby.  It was simply extraordinary.  And I won't do it justice to quote it now, because part of its luster is derived from all that comes before, of course, but I do want to share a single idea from the last few lines:

"...I have finally concluded, maybe that's what life is about:  there's a lot of despair, but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same.  It's as if those strains of music created a sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never.

     Yes, that's it, an always within never.

     ...from now on...I'll be searching for those moments of always within never.
     Beauty, in this world."

If you haven't read the book, you should -- whether you know anything about abstruse German philosophy or, like me, know nothing at all.  Because the shocking beauty of the end is more than worth the feeling of being stupid in the beginning.

My life is permanently enriched.  
Thank you, Muriel Barbery . . .

And Mona Lisa.  And everyone else who puts beauty in the world so that I can find it and have a relationship with it.  

Because the loveliest sunset is just an every day occurrence if there's not someone there enjoying a moment with it -- a moment that slips itself into memory like a bright coin in a pocket.  Later you can put your hand in when you need to and still feel it there -- you have grown a bit richer.

Beauty is whatever gives joy.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay


Yes, there is definitely beauty in this world, 
with plenty to go around.  
We can all share equally in the wealth.

Even in January.



Leenie said...

Okay, FINE! >:-(

I'll give it another shot. I can get over feeling stupid.

I guess. "a January thing to do."

However, I ask you to post your original Mona Lisa post.

"A good artist is able to transform what he as received so significantly that it appears that he has produced something that did not exist before." Ged Byrne

Helen said...

'always within never' ... worth remembering.

luanne said...

Happy that in the end you enjoyed it! Your enthusiasm is sending me back for round 3, since it's been a few years, long enough for me to have forgotten many details. (And frankly, I'd rather reread a book I loved than continue to plow through some of the crappy fiction I've been finding lately!)

Cheers to all who put beauty in this world so we can find it and have a relationship with it. Yourself most definitely included!

Judy said...

I knew you would love it. The ending is breathtaking.
I love the Edna St. Vincent Millay quote.

Michelle @ Periwinkle said...

thanks for the book recommendation, I'll need to look for it. the part of your post about the beauty in moments that occur everyday reminds me of the Sarah MacLachlan song, Just an Ordinary Miracle, (or something like that)

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