The Rose is Not Beauty

When you are walking down a city street and not paying much attention-perhaps you are downtrodden by some confusion-and come suddenly upon a rosebush blooming against a brick wall, you may be struck and awakened by the appearance of beauty. But the rose is not beautiful. You may think the rose is beautiful and so you may also think, with sadness, that it will die. But the rose is not beauty. What beauty is is your ability to apprehend it. The ability to apprehend beauty is the human spirit and it is what all such moments are about, which is why such moments occur in places and at times that may strike another as unlikely or inconceivable, and it does not seem far-fetched to say that the larger the human spirit, the more it will apprehend beauty in increasingly unlikely and inconceivable situations, which is why there is such a great variety of art objects on earth. And there is something else we should say about the apprehension of beauty: it causes discomfort; and by discomfort I mean that state of being riles, which is a state of reverberation.

Mary Ruefle
Madness, Rack, and Honey

2 thoughts on “The Rose is Not Beauty

  1. OK, you have posted it. Excellent – totally agree.

    But a propos my previous comments and your responses, there is yet another distinction I think – emotional response to our response to beauty, and feeling response ditto. I think there’s an analogy here between eg logic (the mental equivalent of emotions – a function) and mind (cf feelings). The latter dyad partake/s of spirit, the other pair, I’d say, of ego…

    I’m aware not everyone would agree.

    Thanks for the ideas.

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