Thursday, 7 November 2019

Strange Beauty


There is often a strange beauty to this hour ... and once again, it comes to me as such. Earlier, the day was clear and sunny ... brilliant coloured leaves hung from the knotted branches of giant sentinel trees splashing scarlet-ochre-amber patches across a cornflower-bluest-blue sky ... And then ...

in the time it took to nosh down a good-sized apple ... contemplatively ... the painting transformed before my eyes ... from strokes on linen ... to the vespertine velvet shades that enhance the mood of evening with a wisp of the mysterious. The leaves – now – ­look much older ... the grand trees – more wizened in the dusk. I feel sporadic drops of rain as twilight falls. It is time for me to go ... to give the place back to itself as it glides from the carefree youth of day to the quiet still of night ... in the strange beauty of this hour.  Perhaps ...

it is a acquirement of age ... discerning a strange beauty, where once ... it was not recognized. Strange beauty ... in the subtlies that mark the passages of time ... or those small acts of survival we encounter every day ... a blade of grass, poking from a sidewalk crack ... a rainbow, at the cessation of a storm.  Perhaps …

we grow to find a gentle pleasure ... to find beauty ... in the ebbs and flows and sounds and sights that have accompanied us, through our life ... a capacity, that waits to unfold with time in the young. Would it surprise them to know now that one day, many of the books and movies and music they enjoy, will come to occupy an even more impassioned place in their hearts, as those 'old' things take on the patina of their 'glory days' ... imbued with a strange beauty that nothing else can duplicate. Will they come to discover, as I have, that even worn out party shoes can cast their own enchantment ... or find the strange beauty that shines from ancient faces ... especially when they smile. I have no doubt that they will ... for that, I believe ... is the rare gift that comes with age.


Beauty is truth, truth beauty,

that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know


- John Keats (1820)


photo:  Strange Beauty – W. Bourke 

© 2019 Wendy Bourke

15 comments:

  1. I like your thoughts here, Wendy. The idea that when one ages one sometimes can discern a kind of beauty that, at a younger age, was not recognized. Ha, there has to be some advantages to the process of aging! There are definitely gifts - albeit RARE gifts, as you said. Hope you are enjoying autumn. We have gone STRAIGHT into winter - brrrrrh - way too soon.

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  2. I, too, love that particular time when the sun glows amber in late afternoon. One of my favourite times. The past has that same glow, doesnt it? Everything burnished with a golden patina. I loved this piece.

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  3. What a thoughtful and insightful prose - and I love the end quote

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  4. I love this contemplation, this is what dusk may do, helping you to find the subtle beauty, maybe even seeing how wonderful monochrome can be.

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  5. to give the place back to itself - that is just a haunting thought - what does the earth do when no eyes are upon it?

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  6. I am literally swooning right now!❤️ I love the deep contemplation in this poem and the use of color especially here; "brilliant coloured leaves hung from the knotted branches of giant sentinel trees splashing scarlet-ochre-amber patches across a cornflower-bluest-blue sky." Wowww!!😍😍

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  7. "to find beauty ... in the ebbs and flows and sounds and sights that have accompanied us, through our life" - a reminder of where beauty hides. Thanks you for sharing

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  8. These lines...the fading of the day and the shifting from inhabiting the outside to the interior...this is a beautiful meditation.

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  9. A gentle reminder of how we all need to slow down and just observe--your words feel like a gentle breeze--gorgeous writing Wendy!

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  10. Wonderful observations, Wendy. "it is a acquirement of age ... discerning a strange beauty, where once ... it was not recognized." So very true, and itself beautiful. I really enjoyed contemplating this with you here.

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  11. Sadly we don't relax enough and enjoy life as we should for almost everything is competitive. Nature is here to please us but business and industry see it only as a nuisance or hindrance to grow wealth. I think that misses the point of life! Luckily Wendy, with poets scribbling away we can get people to see the beauty all around.

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  12. How absolutely lovely! I see this as a prose-poem (set as prose, but with the heightened language of poetry).

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  13. Thank you for this reflective tribute to the wonders of aging. It speaks deeply to my soul.

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  14. The ability to see beauty in the irregular is a skill all should cultivate.

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  15. I feel this all the way to my bones, Wendy. I've always been more willing than most, I think, to appreciate strange beauty. Even while I was very young. But the more vintage I grow *grins*, the more beautiful things I find--in me, in others, in the world. I do hope the same holds true for others. That they, too, see the wonder in worn out shoes, in lined faces, in graying hair, in old eyes that delight in the sight of nature doing natural things.

    Love this piece.

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