Category Archives: Thoughts on Beauty

Beauty in the photographs details: Hollyhock Chair Boat

There is so much in this photograph that I love.

The place itself I love. It is the Hollyhock Retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, a beautiful, remote, and Magical, Transformative place, especially in the summertime. I first went there in 1978 And attended a 13 week long Resident fellow program with a different workshop each week. I attended a dream workshop where I learned that I was Dan, Dan, The rainbow man, a healer and a teacher. And for the last 45 years, I’ve lived being a Healer and a teacher. I learned about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin),The bodhisattva of compassion. I learned it from John Blofeld, that Very British China convert, Who wrote so beautifully about Quan Yen (or Kuan Yin), and also  translated the I Ching. John Blofeld so enjoyed his afternoon tea :). I learned about the I Ching, and Tarot cards. And I learned from the wind, the trees, low and high tides, I learned from the lapping of the water, BJ, Whiskey and orange juice, early morning sunshine, the wonderful gardens, and even more wonderful vegetarian meals. I learned by working with Bill Glackman, now a lifetime friend, doing handyman work around the then COld Mountain Institute.

But what do I love about this picture! I love the early morning light, with the side-light and long shadows. I love the empty chair and the empty boat, both waiting for us/me/you.

I can feel myself sitting in that chair, with my eyes closed, warm, with the sunshine on my face and arms in the cool morning, and ever so gently, I feel a slight breeze. With each breath, I breathe in the light, salty smells of the sea. I hear the gentle lapping of water on the beach. I hear the bird calls of morning,  welcoming the new day. That chair is a place to simply be, mindfully and appreciatively.

The empty boat, red and white and waiting, Is not about mindfulness. The empty boat is about adventure awaiting! Come,Let us row away to adventure! Morning is the time for both contemplation and beginning of adventures! I love that in this photograph.

I love the colors, the greens of the grass and the tree. I love the shades of blues in the sea, and in the mountains across the sea.  I love the bands of lighter color blue on the water.

I love how small I am in that early morning light, And how big that quiet sea is,  and how the shrouded mountains are at the top the photograph.

I love the lines of the small waves, lapping towards the shore.

I love the juxtaposition of the living Green tree, the stump, and the wooden chair. Three stages of existence?

I love the variations between the rocky shore, The tidal zone with it’s small rocks and mud , and the two big rocks In the nearby shallow water.

When I look at this picture, I feel gratitude, the hopes of a new morning, The beckoning of mindfulness and adventure, and the sheer beauty of it all: colors, bands of blue and green, and waves, sea, trees, shore, chair, boat, and distant mountains… and ME!

Rodin on Faded Beauty and a Faded Daisy

Rodin on Faded Beauty and a Faded Daisy

I’ve just finished my first month of recovery after having had open heart surgery to replace my aortic valve. Not easy. I’m like a faded flower hoping to bloom again, soon. They say it takes 2 to 3 months to fully recover, but I’m impatient and want it sooner! ¬†ūüôā
Faded flowers fascinate me! Is the beauty of the flower that once was gone? I don’t thinks so!¬†This is a new stage of beauty, a wiser stage, even more true of faded human ¬†beauty.
One of my favorite books is Robert¬†Heinlein’s “Stranger in a Strange Land.” He made me revise my thoughts of beauty¬†45 years ago¬†when he describes the following statue:

She who used to be the beautiful heaulmière

‚ÄúYou know I wouldn’t be rude to the old woman who posed for that. What I can’t understand is a so-called artist having the gall to pose somebody’s great grandmother in her skin .¬†.¬†. and you having the bad taste to want it around .¬†.¬†. ‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúAnyone can see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl she used to be. A great artist can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is .¬†.¬†. and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be .¬†.¬†. more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo see that this lovely young girl is still alive, prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart .¬†.¬†. no matter what the merciless hours have done. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me‚ÄĒbut it does to them. Look at her!‚ÄĚ Quote from Stranger in a Strange Land

Beautiful, EH?

Below are photos of a faded daisy that I took on my first semi-long walk after my aortic valve replacement. I was feeling as faded as this Daisy! They are all versions of the same photograph.

 

 

C.S. Lewis quote on Beauty

 C.S. Lewis quote on Beauty

We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.

This is a wonderful quote on beauty shared with me from Tim Fikse, a fellow student from my Fife High School days (1964-1967).