that the thing or thought, whatever it is, should strike the mind as beautiful, and arouse in it that strange and wistful longing which beautiful things arouse. It is hard to define that longing, but it is essentially a desire, a claim to draw near to something desirable, to possess it, to be thrilled by it, to continue in it.
— Benson, Joyous Gard, Poetry
Love and Beauty
Consider the above selection from Benson’s chapter called Poetry and notice how closely his thoughts of beauty align with those commonly attributed to love. I think the two – love and beauty – are in many ways intertwined, instances of love arousing in one the feelings of connectedness to other lives, while those of beauty bringing on the heightened feelings of attraction to nature or design.
Lighting the Fire
So how do you light the fires of love and beauty? Why is it that on some days you are more easily inclined to sense the warmth of those inner flames? I think that daily you must act with intention to reconnect to the world and to other lives. It must be a discipline of sorts to involve yourself with the elements of your surroundings by putting the things in your way that will quicken the mind and bring it to a more integrated state.
Days 8-10 Guide
Use this weekend to identify and collect the things that would naturally seem to inspire you. Spend some time alone (an hour or two) surrounding yourself with those things. Try to identify in writing exactly what it is the lights your fire.
© 2005, Levi Hill