I’ve been reading Alexander Nehamas’ Only a Promise of Happiness and some of his words jumped out at me:
Beauty always remains a bit of a mystery, forever a step beyond anything I can say about it, more like something calling me without showing exactly what it is calling me to. Since no words are enough to convince me that something is beautiful (or its opposite), it is a call I can only hear on my own, beyond what anyone can say to show that making it part of my life might be worthwhile. (pg. 78)
We’re in the end looking at and listening to that innermost voice calling out to us … I suppose that’s a good description for anyone who knows what it means to be an artist, poet and/or street photographer.
Again, from Nehamas:
Even the narrowest judgment of beauty has far-reaching consequences and makes a difference to one’s mode of life. What such a life will bring is impossible to predict and, once it has brought it, difficult to evaluate. You can’t know in advance the sort of person it will make you and you can’t ever be sure of the worth of the person you have become. You can’t even be certain that you will eventually consider what you find through the pursuit of beauty to have been worth your while. (pg. 129)
I suppose all we could do is wait and see and hope to grow into the sort of person we’d want to be…
Sometimes it is tempting to fall into that path of least resistance, choosing a course of action simply because it is there and it is a well-worn path.
Go into a shop, buy a thing, any thing.
And sometimes it is after exhausting a particular option that one begins to want more…
What does it mean to flourish?
How may one begin to understand how one path leads to another?
Are we caught in a web of our own making?
Is there room to maneuver?
Or perhaps the grid is comfortable, after all.
A sort of ready-made architecture of success beckons.
We try to make sense out of this.
We look into ourselves and hope we find something significant…
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