Beauty in the Common

by The Beardly Writer


There is beauty in the common.

The commonplace can be anything but. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Do you know what that means? It means beauty isn’t on the canvas. It isn’t on the stage or screen. It isn’t in a book, or a face, or the horizon, or anything you can touch with your hands. Beauty isn’t seen. It is experienced. It is in your eye because it is in your perception.

Philosopher Edmond Burke suggested that the sublime, the quality of beauty or greatness with accompanying spiritual sense of awe, is most poignant when experienced alongside or through pain. He wrote that it isn’t in the presence of great beauty but great trauma that the ultimate level of the sublime is experienced.

What is it about pain that changes our perception, that prepares us for beauty? And is the common a painful place?

Good is the enemy of best. Banality is the enemy of originality.

We live in the common but are wired to want more. To see more. To perceive more.

There is little or no conflict in the common. It is a balance of forces. Entropy is high in the common. There is little to do and little energy with which to do it. This goes against human nature.

We are creators. Explorers. Inventors. Pioneers. Artists. At our best, we repel stagnation. We turn boredom to ingenuity. We find beauty in the common as a source of inspiration.

There is beauty in the common because there must be.

My friend is writing a book. Won’t you help him by including your story?