Eye of the Beholder

I am at the family cottage sitting on the picnic table at the edge of the pond. It’s not much of a pond at present. It is low in water and made murky by its clay bottom. My dog is taking dips and stirring up the goldfish only aware of her pleasure. I am otherwise alone here listening to music. I am rich.

I have seen uglier times. Perhaps that is why I have such an appreciation for these moments. I could wish for more but peace is not having things but appreciating things. I can recall peering through bars and a heavy metal screen a pencil would not fit through. I was witness to sunsets that although obscured, I remember still. Colour penetrates much. I have been witness to many great sunsets here on Lake Huron but the ones that penetrated the jail seem more memorable. I wonder if my fellow inmates saw what I saw. I believe the gift of the sunset is Grace but the ability to recognize its beauty is also Grace. Is the meal extraordinary or our present sense of taste? Is it what resides in us that allows us to interpret beauty and be moved?

Two people can taste a fruit but neither will experience the same sweetness. Perspective and interpretation can be gifts. I am at times grateful for people and experiences in my life but I forget to be thankful for perspective. I am richer when I can acknowledge the fact that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; beauty does not exist unless it is beheld.

10 thoughts on “Eye of the Beholder

  1. Your words resonate deeply with me, as my thoughts on “perception” have been been with me most of my life. Ever meet someone wo, at first glance, is rather ordinary looking, but once you get to know them, their features take on something extraordinary and beautiful? It’s all about perception, and perception changes with familiarity and knowing. Nice post.

    • I am pleased to know my post resonated with you. I know exactly what you are talking about. I was thinking about the same just the other night. If you look at something at night it can shift your perception. Features of a persons face can be highlighted by shadow or subdued. I was sitting with a friend once and suddenly he appeared almost identical to his father who I was also familiar with. Psychosis can also cause a radical shift. I was with a friend who was ill and he suddenly mentioned I needed to do something with my teeth beyond brushing. I don’t know what he was seeing but the concern in his voice made me think he thought they were black and falling out.
      Thanks for your comment.

  2. Again Brett, You ahve written so beautifully about appreciating the ‘smaller’ everyday miracles we receive but so often miss. “Peace is not having things but appreciating”…how true because many people have great wealth and are not happy because they are still thinking about what they don’t have or desiring more and are not present enough to experience the joy in what they do have, what might be right under their nose. Don’t you wonder who are the ‘mad ones’ here???:) keep writing, people need to hear this.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. I was once caught up in ” two foot-itis” It’s how people with a boat or camper trade up each season for two more feet of product. Bigger or newer always seems better but often only perpetuates economic slavery. “I hate commuting but I have to work. I hate my job but I have to pay for my car.” Madness is rampant if you look at it a certain way. I am less materialistic having lost everything but I still have to watch myself.

  3. I couldn’t agree more and I am inclined to think that the way animals take complete pleasure in the simple thing they are doing, is a very good lesson for us. Stop and smell the roses.

    • They seem to only worry about a meal at times which is understandable considering they are seldom free to catch their own. We have a freezer and fridge full and struggle with what to eat for supper. I think more people would smell the roses if they were planted in shopping malls. Instead we have fountains that we throw coins into wishing for something better. How fortunate we are to be in a mall with money in our pocket. How rich we could be if we stepped outside and looked not for our size but what is fitting of being human.

  4. Excellent post. I really enjoyed reading it. “Peace is not having things but appreciating things.” Great line!

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