She taught me many lessons…a great many lessons. My high school sweetheart
did. One of the most profound and life-changing things she taught me (one that I will always be grateful for) is what beauty is.
It’s not that she actually intended to educate me. I’m not even sure she herself understands what she taught me. Yet, on one hot, shimmering summer day, she taught me what beauty is.
* * *
Imagine, if you will, a young man lying on a beach. It’s an almost blinding July afternoon. He’s propped on his elbows, enjoying the sight of his friends and the friends of friends of friends frolicking.
He gazes squint-eyed upon the young, bikini-clad females with curiosity…pleasure…admiration.
He sees his former sweetheart advancing from the water. They had parted company five, maybe six, months before. She’s strongly backlit
by the white-hot sun. The water smiles and laughs with diamond jewels glistening. He sees her almost in bas-relief
, carving her haloed way through the sultry air.
There’s no question about it. She is stunning. She stands at almost six-feet. She is shapely, full bosomed
, fertile hipped, statuesque, heavenly, free…and the water glistens on her radiantly tanned skin. Remember Bo Derek in “10
”? Remember that scene when Bo comes streaming, steaming, out of the ocean? Well, Blake Edwards filmed that scene almost a decade after this afternoon of mine…even so...
the scenes are identical.
I was lying on a blanket, propped on my elbows, skin burning, staring at her vision, when it hit me like a thunderbolt: “She’s not beautiful anymore
Huh? She was ravishingly beautiful seven months ago. She was the most beautiful woman in the world…then. Today, in a scene worthy of a Botticelli, she approaches from the water…I could almost hear the angels sing. But she was no longer beautiful. Striking? Yes. Erotic? Yes. Desirable? Absolutely! Beautiful? No. Not to me.
On that one, shimmering, blinding, dazzling summer day, I learned something vital, something fundamental. I learned that beauty is a construct of the heart, mind and soul. The eyes will always see, but the vision in the mind’s eye is the only one of consequence. When we love, we see whom we love as beautiful…radiantly beautiful. It may or may not be an objective “truth.” Less likely so, as the years and life’s travails exact their toll on the body. But we remain ever beautiful...in our lover’s true eyes
Love sees what it most wants to see. Love desires to see only beauty. I, myself, am content to let love see what it will.
* * *
I wish only to love more…enough so that I see only beauty.
* * *