July 27, 2023

On All Things Beautiful

On All Things Beautiful

The word "beauty" can often get conflicting. Why? Because it feels good, but it also sets standards—sometimes too high.

I've caught myself, more than once, looking at an artifact, thinking, "This is beautiful." No second thoughts, no need to justify. It just is.

Still, the guilt sneaks in. Isn't there more to life than aesthetics? My education taught me to question everything, even beauty. It's a voice asking, "But why?" when you simply want to enjoy a moment.

I have walked through multiple art galleries in the city. Two types of people there. Those who stare at art, ponder and dissect. Some just look, breathe it in, let it move them. I try to be the latter. I'm starting to think of art as an experience, not a thesis.

A man contemplating an art, my visit at SFMOMA

Nobody is a stranger to photographs evoking emotions. When I look at my childhood photographs, I realize that it isn't high art. It is rather an artifact of a time a time I never knew but somehow felt connected to. That's beauty, too—imperfect, unassuming, yet assuring.

We're in a world obsessed with definitions, metrics, validations. It has its place. Often, it feels unnecessary. I want to say, "This is beautiful," and let it be. Sometimes beauty stands alone, unapologetically so.

Do I still feel the need for rationale? Sure. But I also give myself permission to embrace beauty for its own sake. Beauty offers a respite. It says, "Just feel. That's enough." And sometimes, it really is.

All good things end.