LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dallas Kinney: A Closer Look

You may have wondered why I never include photographs on this blog. After all, wouldn't a blog about beauty be better served by photos than words? I don't think so. First, I write about types of beauty that are not visual so a photo wouldn't help. And when I do write about visual beauty, I want to create images with my words. I want readers to use their imagination to do a bit of work for that bit of beauty.

All that said, today I'm going to make an exception and share a link to some exquisite photographs of creation taken by Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer, Dallas Kinney. Dallas' work always slows me down for a closer look. Check it out. I believe you'll enjoy it as much as I do.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Picking Flowers in the Fall

Yesterday I was out of town with my daughter (which is why I'm just posting today). When we came home, we took our dog for a walk. It was another warm, beautiful fall day--I know I'm going to miss these days when the weather turns cold. As we neared the house, I told my daughter I wanted to show her something. After putting our dog in the house and grabbing some old kitchen shears, we trudged through crunchy leaves in the front yard. Extremely wide, our front yard curves out toward the street so that when you're in the driveway you can't see where the lawn ends. But you can see what's growing there.

Looking at the scissors in my hand, she asked, "Are we going to pick flowers?" I nodded as we walked toward the large camellia tree that we tend to forget about until it blooms in the fall and late winter. And boy is it putting on a show right now! It's absolutely covered with blooms and with buds that will soon be ready. Dark, waxy leaves highlight the delicate white flowers with tinges of pink on the petals. 

When the camellia blooms again in the winter, I will ask the same rhetorical question I always ask: how can a flower so fragile survive such cold weather? It looks like it belongs to April or May, yet I'm glad it doesn't wait until then. Seeing its beauty in the dead of winter heartens me. It reminds me that spring is coming--not right away but soon enough.

My daughter and I chose a few flowers and snipped them off. She was surprised to see the petals of the mature ones falling even as we gathered them, so we picked buds that look like they open in a day or two. I hope they do. With pumpkins, mums, and fall leaves ruling outdoors this time of year, it's nice to have fragile-looking, spring-like beauty inside.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quotes about Creation

I'm running late this morning so I thought I'd share with you some quotes about beauty in creation that I found the other day. 

"All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within." Horace Friess
"Flowers are words which even a baby can understand." Quentin Crisp
"Where flowers bloom so does hope." Lady Bird Johnson
"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly." Richard Bach
"A butterfly lands where it pleases and pleases where it lands." Anonymous
"A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song." Chinese proverb
"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer." Gertrude Jekyll
"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." Roger Caras
"How kind you were to open the gates of heaven and give me that little glimpse of Paradise." From an 18th-Century letter

What are some of your favorite quotes about beauty? I'd love to know. Please leave me a comment.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Fragrance of Fall

Today as we were walking the dog, a light breeze blew across my face, bringing with it the scent of fall. It's a crisp but smoky smell, even when there's no fire. It's so different from the scent of the other seasons. It says, "Change is coming!" 

The sense of smell is not one we typically think of as a conduit for beauty. But certain fragrances call to my mind memories of beauty from the past. 

For instance, a few years ago, I visited a centuries-old church while on vacation. The smell of the burning candles followed me to every corner of that building. As I looked at the historic frescoes and the architecture, the fragrance of the candles deepened the experience for me. I can smell them now.

Another fragrance that calls to mind an experience of beauty was the flowers in my wedding bouquet. Stargazer lilies, purple stock, delphiniums, blue iris, and seafoam statice with a purple ribbon made a breathtaking arrangement. As I held the gorgeous bouquet in my hand, the fragrance accompanied me throughout the most beautiful day of my life. Whenever I'm near a stargazer now, the scent takes me back to that day.   

Now, as fall continues to unfold and the leaves curl and come down, my daughter will soon remind me about one of her favorite things to do. Last year, on a warm fall afternoon, we raked a huge pile of leaves in the front yard and jumped in them. We hopped in and kicked, and threw leaves at each other. I took several photos of her but of course the camera couldn't capture the fragrance in the air. But some aspects of beauty simply can't be captured. Beauty has to be enjoyed in the moment, treasured and remembered for years to come.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Beauty of Theater

On Sunday afternoon I saw a show filled with moments of beauty, and I've been thinking about the story and singing the music ever since. Here's more.

Home | About | Articles | Speaking | Links | Contact | FAQ
Blogs: Christians in the Arts | Beauty and the Beholder

Copyright 2007 LeAnne Martin. Site designed by ChurchGraphics.org