Fragment: On Beauty
The urge to write is triggered by beauty though I cannot say what beauty is. It is equally the starkness of Georgia O’Keeffee’s seemingly simple Blues Lines X (I say “seemingly simple” because how simple can it be if it causes the words to rush forth) and the dissonant, over-the top boldness of Zoanette Johnson, an American Idol contestant with blazing ebony skin, a mushroom cloud of blonde hair, an entire Claire’s store of jewelry in play, and a voice older, wiser, sexier than even the universe. They have in common beauty, which as far as I can determine has little to do with the eye and, instead, something to do with an internal resonance. The eye is a mere door, an open portal. It is not the image that is “beautiful” but the way its energy crackles across the nerve endings. Beauty is the electric buzz that results in a spate of words or hunger or a breath-knocked-out-of-you silence. If you can digest an image, a sound, a texture in the usual fashion, then it is merely pretty. There is nothing easy or regular about beauty.