Ramblings on a Word – Beauty

Image by Shelly Paul

Beauty – aesthetically pleasing

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, goes the well-known phrase from the poem, Endymion, by John Keats. Dwelling on this phrase made me wonder about that one unique thing of such incredible beauty, that it would bring unfailing joy to its beholder.

Could it be a favorite work of art that could turn into a visual feast every time we set our eyes on it? Or a piece of music that strums our soul, each and every time we listen to it?

The practical reality of this scenario didn’t seem plausible, because our moods are subject to change. When not seen in the right mood, the favorite art could turn into annoying patches of color, or pleasurable melody could just turn into cacophony.

Another possibility is the effect of changing circumstances that might affect our social or personal lives. Even if nothing seems to change, the mere passage of time could impact us, affecting our perspectives which might change tastes and preferences. As such, there is a pretty good chance that we may outgrow certain pastimes or pleasures because they might seem meaningless beyond a certain point in our lives.

So, what could be that single constant source of perpetual joy in the ever changing world? What is permanent? What lasts forever?

Nothing lasts forever. Everything is transitory – all that begins must come to an end. As does our lives, which begins with a sharp cry of the first breath, to end with the last exhale.

What is left in between is life – a culmination of experiences stored in subjective memories through each passing day. So, maybe this life, this human existence itself, is that singular, “thing of beauty”.

If we can cultivate the ability to find beauty, through all the ebb and flow in the brief time we have on this earth, as we live it one day to the next, among the multitude, within the spectrum of emotions and thoughts, embracing mirth and pain, and everything in between, as we teach ourselves to look beneath the superficiality with discerning eyes and listen to the voice of wisdom, then maybe, perpetual joy could be ours.