Thursday, June 09, 2011

Beauty in Spades

When a person says that something (money, luck, heartbreak, joy) came back to them "in spades", they mean "in abundance."

Beauty in Spades simply means that we are surrounded in it (but...maybe...we sometimes don't notice it).

My tendency is to take an idea and make it as grand as I can imagine - in other words - make it more complicated than need be.

Today isn't one of those days. Oh, it started out that way - old habits do die hard, ya know.

I awoke wanting to chornical the beauty around me. Well, MY vision of beauty that is.

I started to think that a stroll around the block would be a good start. Or, perhaps the neighborhood would be better? See...there I go...

Hey, Melissa - K.I.S.S. (Keep. It. Simple. Stupid)

There are lots of beautiful things around me. My family, animals, flowers, yada yada yada. I love it all.


There is more to beauty than the obvious.

Flowers = obvious. Fire hydrant = not so much on the obvious beauty scale. HOWEVER, this one sits in my back yard and has a feel to it. Aged patina, it has weathered me.

When I look at this bird bath thingy that hangs on my fence, I sometimes imagine that it is statuary lounging in the garden of an Italian Italy (to be clear and not some Italian 'inspired' garden in California).

Now it's your turn to use your imagination. Ready?, imagine this has a basket of some sort of plant that has viney tendrils looping around the metal frame...and it's hanging in an Italian Italy - remember...NOT in a very unkepmt back yard in San Jose. See...with a little imagintion one can find beauty anywhere.

Ignore the fact that these are flowers and instead focus on how much the blossoms resemble bird-like faces (like a puffin or maybe more like a quail - with the little feathery thing at the top). Red beak/mouth, two eyes and a pointy, wisp of feather on its head.
Do you see it?
Do I need to come over there and point it out to you?
They are beautiful because they brought out my imagination.

"Um....Why the dying flower?" is what you are thinking. "Why is THAT beautiful?"
Well...because it was purchased over 3 weeks ago and is just now starting to whither.
Because carnations get a bad rap.
Because carnations want to please you by living as long as they can (with some help from you).
Because carnations are agreeable to any color you want to tint them and any bottle/jar/vase you want to shove them into.
Because I love how their petals huddle together so tightly, it is like a pompom of satiny ribbon bound together on a stem.
If you are ever given carnations, as a gift of love, then treasure them....because they will far outlast roses and other delicate flowers.
To me, that is beautiful.

The base of the lamp post that sits on the parkway in front of my house. The city could have put an unadorned steel pole out there - but they didn't and I'm thankful.
Not only does it have its own unique beauty, but it is hollow inside.
Why is that beautiful?
Because when my kids were little they loved to play it like a bongo drum and listen as the sound they made echoed up to the tippy-top of the pole and then floated away on the breeze.

I just love this bottle. I love that I've re-purposed it. I think the shape is beautiful, the cow is beautiful and that my carnations have enjoyed living in it for the past 3 weeks.

And...finally...I believe that in order to appreciate beauty we must have something to compare against. There is an opposite to beauty...

No, this is no social statement. I do enjoy TV...and I'd miss it if I didn't have it. But it took the place of the lamp that used to be mounted on that wall. I used to sit under it and read whenever the rest of the family watched the BIGGINORMOUSBEHEMOTH of a TV in the living room.

My lamp is gone.
My reading spot is gone.
I may have agreed to it, but I still miss it....

I didn't go far today in my search for beauty.
Never left my property.
I didn't need to - That, in itself, is beautiful.


  1. I love your eye for detail. What a wonderful imagination you have, and what a blessing it is. These photos are lovely, and I love that you brought me into your world by showing me what you see when you look at them. Well done.

  2. Thank you for the very kind comment, Melissa. Thanks for reading!

  3. I love how you spot beauty in these "common" objects. What a reminder to open your eyes and see how amazing our surroundings are. I have a feeling your house must be really charming. You seem to have a good eye for decorating. As for my house, I won't redecorate an inch without asking my mother for advice because I have NO EYE for decorating. I can barely match :)

  4. Thank you, Ella! Alas, house is not charmingly decorated. There are pieces here that sit waiting for someone with a good eye to help make them stand out. I'm working on it though! I appreciate the comment, thanks!