Daily Beauty, Day #14: Intrinsic Beauty

Many tasks require focus. And yet we do not always give them this. Our attention is often divided and split among different things. At other times… in rare, consuming moments, we become caught up in whatever we are currently doing; we get swept away in the task at hand. I enjoy that I can lose myself in the twisting tide of a good story. That when I am reading a book, I can devote myself entirely to its contents and feel the pain and passion expressed by the characters speaking through the pages.

And yet, there are many times when I am reading and my feet stay firmly planted on the ground, in the reality of my own world. I read the story, but I don’t feel the story. I enjoy the story, but there are other things, other words that clamour in my mind, pulling me out of the pages. I am doing this, but I know I will have to do that, and then that, and after that, something else.

There are endless concerns attempting to pry us away from the moment. There are endless demands on our time. We cannot possibly attend to them all at once, and yet sometimes I think we try to. In this light, life becomes a list: a series of means to an end, an end that is never really an end, because it always leads to some more unfinished business. The more we allow our minds to wander and the more we excuse them from focusing on where we are and what we are doing now, the more we will begin to do things only for the sake of doing them, and not for the things themselves.

I think it is beautiful when we can do something, appreciating it for its intrinsic beauty. When we are reading a book, we can simply read, looking for and feeling thankful for whatever interest or enjoyment we can find within its covers. This could translate to other, more mundane tasks as well. When working on some sort of project or assignment, we could appreciate what is beautiful about the task itself, rather than merely counting down the minutes until we are finished with it.

I think there is so much in beauty in the ability to appreciate things for their intrinsic purpose. This is an ability we all possess, but perhaps we start to lose it somewhere along the way, confused by the idea that we always have somewhere we’re going… failing to realize that perhaps, in a way, we are already there.