Beauty is defined as: the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit. According to this particular definition, I think that it is safe to say that beauty is not necessarily pretty. In fact, I would argue that what I have found to be most beautiful is rarely pretty. More often than not, it is within a state of agony and pain that we can uncover what is the essence of beauty- the sacred place within that blisters our heart, changing our being, branding us forever, hence the exaltation of mind or spirit.
The look of a woman giving birth without the use of “pain killers” is one such image. Face is blotchy, make-up, if there was any, is now sweated off, leaving raccoon smudges, nostrils are flaring, brows furrowed as eyes squint in an intense effort to will one’s physical being to labor on beyond what only a contraction ago seemed impossible. And then, the baby comes and with it the elation of a job well done, a goal accomplished, one’s self-worth increased.
A runner at the end of a long race that has demanded more of his body than his legs and heart could handle is another. A runner like Pre who knew that you might beat him, but you’d have to bleed to do so. He crossed the finish line completely spent and used up physically and yet, there was still a wildness in his eyes and an intensity of focus that was undeterred. That singularity of intent translates into achievement of purpose, enveloping while exuding success. That sweet smell.
Intertwined like yin and yang, masculine and feminine, tragedy and hope, pain and beauty are married in such a way that make the sum not only greater than the parts but dependent on one another for full expression.