Day 338 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012
I come to my blog today after a very busy week and weekend surrounded by ‘people’ . At such times as this I love a quiet Monday so that I can be restored. Somehow, my equilibrium becomes disturbed if I have too much extroverted activity for too long.
This Monday, there is no time for quiet because a whole lot of different people: plumbers and the like have arrived to do our major bathroom renovation. Therefore, Geoff and I went out for a few hours so they could remove asbestos and now that we are home, it is all buzzing and drilling around us with deliveries arriving as well.
Oh folks, I am craving SILENCE! I feel as if my territory has been invaded and there is nowhere I can go to be ALONE because everywhere I turn, something is happening. Then, the dishwasher has had the cheek to break down this morning complete with a load of dirty dishes contained therein.
There is nothing to do but wash up by hand … but then the water is off. When the water comes back on, the plumber says don’t let any water come down the sink because he is working on the drains! It is a catch 22 folks. And here I am back to square one, craving peace and quiet.
All this takes me to the saying above which I found a few weeks ago. Every now and again, I have pondered this saying, wondering exactly what it meant. “The soul who sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”
This morning for the first time, I think I have some idea! It’s like this: when you are with people, you don’t really ‘see’ beauty because you are so busy chatting and laughing. But when you are alone, your eyes and your soul is heightened to notice everything. As long as you don’t let worry intrude and then you notice nothing at all!
You see, I like to go walking for exercise so that I can meditate on nature but I find if I go with another person, I do not get a chance to savour all the beauty that is around me. Therefore, I usually walk on my own in the cool of the morning … and meditate.
So I went in search of this saying and Google helped me out. Here is a good explanation which pretty well sums up what I am trying to say:
“There are times when one must not be distracted so as to increase awareness of beauty surrounding them. Imagine a quiet walk along a verdant forest path, listening to the crickets, seeing the leaves shimmering in the sun, a fluffy squirrel poised on a log … a wildflower.
Imagine the same path walked with a friend–chatting about the days events, complaining about your workload, listening to separate i-pods—-would you be aware of the beauty surrounding you? Doubtful.”
I would agree. There is another point to make here. In order to for me be alone, I need TOTAL solitude. You know the type of aloneness that means there is no one else in the house. It’s okay if it is my husband as he is often in the garden out of reach anyway. But if I have someone staying who is not even talking to me, I do not feel alone. Hence my problem with the plumbers.
All of which takes me back to the saying. It was written by the German writer and poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who was born in 1749 and died in 1832. During his lifetime he wrote about a 1,000 poems and 10,000 letters as well as 3,000 drawings.
Indeed, this man was a very conscientious worker! Perhaps he spent a lot of time in solitude so that he was able to write so much.
But thank goodness he did, for there is so much of his work to choose from. I noticed in my research that there are Goethe Institutes all over the world. I did not know that such institutes existed. We have two here in Australia: one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. Wikipedia gives us a lot of information about the Goethe Institute at this address: wikipedia.org/Johann_Wolfgang_von_Goethe
“The Goethe-Institute fosters knowledge about Germany by providing information on German culture, society and politics. This includes the exchange of films, music, theatre, and literature. Goethe cultural societies, reading rooms, and exam and language centers have played a role in the cultural and educational policies of Germany for close to 60 years.”
But I do wonder what Goethe was feeling when he wrote that “the soul who sees beauty may sometimes walk alone?” It would be nice to know the background. You see, all of us may LOOK at the same thing, but whether we ‘perceive’ that thing to be beautiful depends on how we feel about it.
For example, I may see beauty in storm clouds which another person, who is afraid of storms, would not see as beautiful. To them, there is indeed no beauty in storm clouds … only fear. Therefore, if you find beauty in storm clouds, you walk alone if you are the only one who finds beauty in them. Does this make sense?
Yesterday, my granddaughters found beauty in putting all of my little shoe decorations together on my Christmas tree in a ‘family.’ They had a ‘bell family’ too. When I saw them do this, I immediately thought “Oh no! I don’t like that” and thought I would remove them today. But should I?
You see, they thought this was beautiful! And in a way it is. It is that lovely touch that only a child could come up with and here I am about to wreck it. Why? Because I think it doesn’t look balanced. I see no beauty in it at all!
Perhaps in honour of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I should just leave those ‘families’ on the tree and take delight in what my grandchildren see as beautiful? Plenty of time, to have other things ‘just so’ but why not concede defeat and let the two little families stay together on my tree?
In this way, my grandchildren are not walking alone. No. I am taking their hand and walking with them as if to say: “yes this is indeed beautiful …” Then they will feel supported and honoured in their choice.