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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beauty


I have written of beauty and my perceptions before. A few days ago,
I offered a comment on another blog about physical beauty. It was promptly dismissed as sexist. I suppose it was to some. Sexism and misogyny abound (more so in the Bible Belt). So much so, that some see sexism everywhere.

I see beauty.

I see beauty to an extent never experienced before. I think it's part of the sixth-decade terrain.

I gaze at physically beautiful humans a bit envious, mostly wistful.
I appreciate unblemished suppleness. The hormone-fueled vigor of glorious youth. But I know, all too well, the ephemeral nature of physical beauty. Gifts such as these, like the innocence we arrived with, are not ours to possess forever. These are transitory states.

And I know, too (and have through almost all of my adult life), that outward appearance does not necessarily correlate with an individual’s sensuality or eroticism...or true character for that matter. Surprises abound.

Even so, I revel in beauty. It grows ever more wondrous. I shall not be lusting for that beauty, though. I’ve lived too long and ventured too far on damaged legs for that.

I only lust for hearts that have endeared themselves to me:


In Love Made Visible

In love are we made visible
As in a magic bath
are unpeeled
to the sharp pit
so long concealed

With love’s alertness
we recognize
the soundless whimper
of the soul
behind the eyes
A shaft opens
and the timid thing
at last leaps to surface
with full-spread wing

The fingertips of love discover
more than the body’s smoothness
They uncover a hidden conduit
for the transfusion
of empathies that circumvent
the mind’s intrusion

In love are we set free
Objective bone
and flesh no longer insulate us
to ourselves alone
We are released
and flow into each other’s cup
Our two frail vials pierced
drink each other up

May Swenson

* * *

14 Comments:

Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is true... but as we age, we do realize that outer beauty is no guarantee of inner beauty... that which is oh so much more valuable than the shell exposed to the universe.

You, Jonas, are very beautiful.

Sun Jul 25, 08:00:00 PM  
Blogger Kass said...

Jonas, I don't think your comment was dismissed. When a man talks about aspects of a woman that 'float their boat,' women tend to get a little defensive. Beauty is one thing. Physical attributes that are perceived as 'sexy' are another. We ultimately have little control over what potential partners find compelling.

I admire you for your honesty. As you mentioned, so much of our allure is transitory and the 'real' stuff of relationship is what I lust after.

Sun Jul 25, 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Cheesy said...

That was yummy

Sun Jul 25, 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

Oh, we all have to so careful these days that we anticeptic everything up. There is meat and girth in physical beauty. People are afraid of meat. Hell, mostly they're afraid of honesty.

In the end though, it is the meat that is beautiful, not the cellophane that it comes in. There is a real drive, natural or not, I'm not sure, to be drawn to the unblemished and symmetrical. I look. Men and woman. Because yes, they are beautiful. There is no intention, only recognition. And there is no harm, I think, in saying, wow, he's/she's hot.

xo
erin

Mon Jul 26, 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger Jingle said...

sweet and fun.
your talent is high!

Tue Jul 27, 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger June Calender said...

Maybe it is a 6th decade thing. For some years I've had the deepest feelings for physical beauty, often that of people, of either sex, who I might see very casually, on public transportation, walking on the street, etc. Yes, I think the physical realization that a certain kind of beauty we may once have had, and possibly enjoyed greatly, is no longer ours, whets the edge of appreciation. It's not P.C. to talk about beauty of specific ethnic groups ... but it's honest all the same. Your writing is beautifully true.

Tue Jul 27, 06:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Let's not get carried away, Ponita, m'kay? (I'm chuckling)

Although our perspectives may vary a bit, Kass, I don't think we're all that far apart (emotionally speaking).

Glad you enjoyed, Queen Cheese.

"There is no intention, only recognition." Succinct way of putting it, Erin. Thanks.

Thank you, Jingle, and welcome!

Awwwww, thank you, June.

Thu Jul 29, 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Sarahlah said...

Have only now discovered your blog. I enjoy your writing style as well as appreciate the content. Thank you.

Fri Jul 30, 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Why thank you for that gracious comment, Sarahlah! Pleased to meet you.

Fri Jul 30, 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger anna said...

Beauty is everywhere and I am most appreciative of a beautiful soul (like yours, for example). However, I won't deny that a beautiful package for that beautiful soul would be the ideal combination.

Wed Aug 04, 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

Physical beauty is fleeting. And truly? It is wasted on the young. When I was 25, I had no idea just how beautiful I was. I look at photos of myself from that time and I think how glossy my hair is, how supple my body. Now I am 52 years old and realize that all of that is fleeting, temporary and that one has to cultivate inner beauty more than anything else.

Sat Aug 07, 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Well, I would have to say that the most beautiful person I've ever known was my grammy. While she was technically a stunner in her youth, she was breathtaking to me when she was 82. The symphony of a life well lived played across her face, her hands, her stature, her manner...

An appreciation of physical beauty coming from you, Jonas, could never be sexist, in my book.

Thu Aug 12, 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jonas said...

I've been remiss in responding to comments. My bad. I do enjoy the varied perspectives (and the compliments, too).

Thank you.

Mon Aug 23, 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger PattiKen said...

There is so much more to beauty than the part of it which is visible to the eye. That inner kind of beauty doesn't really fade. Consider Katherine Hepburn. Seems like anyone who sees a compliment or referance to beauty as sexist lacks the inner kind. Unless, of course, the compliment or comment was all wrapped up in sexist demeaning language.

Tue Aug 24, 08:32:00 AM  

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