In Living Color

Most of you know that I had surgery a few weeks ago. My recovery is going well. But I’m beginning to lose patience with myself and I’m beginning to think I may never wear pants with an actual waistband again.

So I set myself a goal of walking outside every day and appreciating spring…because, let’s be honest, there’s something about spring. Since I generally share my week with you, I thought you might enjoy seeing my world in living color.

In case you’re wondering, the extreme close-up shots are taken with my iPhone 5S with an Olloclips 14x Macro lens. The rest are a combination of my phone and my Nikon D3200.
The edges of a pink hyacinth. 

Continue reading “In Living Color”

Emerging Butterfly—Beauty of Struggle

butterflyWe live near one of the most beautiful places I know, Frederick Meijer Garden. It’s a world-renown sculpture park and botanical garden.

Every March and April this organization bring in hundreds of butterfly chrysalis and moth cocoons and allow them to hatch within the confines of the tropical garden. The visitors walk inside a dreamland of fluttering color.

Awhile back, I took my daughter early specifically to watch a different display than the flying butterflies. We came to watch the butterflies emerge from their chrysalis.

It’d been a rough not the night before. Emotion overflowed my senses and my girl and I needed the retreat. Continue reading “Emerging Butterfly—Beauty of Struggle”

Oh the Humanity—Importance of Beauty

importance-of-beautyAs I sit here writing, a fall wind is rippling through the trees, late afternoon sun is dripping horizontal gold through my curtains. The riot of color outside my window makes me smile. It is, undoubtedly and, for us non-philosophy students, unarguably beautiful.

This golden snippet of time is something I look forward to all year round. The memory of days like this is what gets me through the bleak winter months. Well, that and my down parka.

See, there’s something about beauty—especially in it’s classical, fall afternoon sense.

Part of being human is the ability to recognize, look forward to, and remember beauty. Tweet This

I’m fairly certain that my dog, Odie, as smart and crazy as he is, fails to really recognize the breeze, the trees, or even a perfectly cooked steak as beautiful.

He may lift his nose in appreciation, but he fails to be profoundly thankful or reflective about a gorgeous day. Continue reading “Oh the Humanity—Importance of Beauty”

Beauty Defined

beauty-definedI suppose if we’re going to discuss beauty, it’d be important to be sure we’re all talking about the same thing. Definitions are slippery things…especially when you’re arguing that the thing you’re defining is of life and death importance, which we’ll get to next week.

Let’s start easy. I think most of us can agree on the first aspect. Continue reading “Beauty Defined”

Beauty from Ashes: a Metaphor of Hope in a Time of Terror

There is a core of who I am that is tangled in music. I grew up going to symphonies, playing in some of the best bands and orchestras in the state. I was through and through a clarinet-playing, band geek.

My life has a nearly constant musical score running underneath.

There I am with the pep band. Apparently I have no pictures of me ACTUALLY playing. You'll just have to trust that I did.
There I am with the pep band. Apparently I have no pictures of me ACTUALLY playing. You’ll just have to trust that I did.

I write to music. Sing snippets of Broadway, Mother Goose, Louis Armstrong, Simon and Garfunkle, and even “Uptown Funk” to my kids.

Soaring melodies, growling tympani, rising arpeggios, staccato xylophone—they draw pictures, speak words I cannot always form coherently. You know what I mean?

This weekend I went with my mom and sister to our local symphony’s live presentation of Disney’s Fantasia. The overlap of the art of film and music reminded me of the fear and destruction happening in our world. In short, it undid me.

A little over halfway through the program came the music of one of my favorite ballets, Stravinsky’s Firebird. It isn’t a piece most modern Americans are familiar with, but I love the unexpected twists and the drama it sings.

http://enchantedgal.deviantart.com/art/Flowering-71685983
http://enchantedgal.deviantart.com/art/Flowering-71685983

In Disney’s take, a mighty elk, king of the forest, wakes Spring – Life personified, beautiful fluidity. Blue and green swirls. Life exalts in melting the snow and playing with the birth of flowers and butterflies, but is shocked when a mountain, an extinct volcano, resists her efforts to sprout in greenness.

In the center of the bowl is a form, dark and frozen. When she touches his misshapen face, the firebird comes crashing to life. Foaming fire. Slashing into the sky. Delighting in destroying everything Life has created. Reducing everything to ash . . . even Life herself. Continue reading “Beauty from Ashes: a Metaphor of Hope in a Time of Terror”