LeAnne Martin
Beauty and the Beholder

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Becoming Part of Beauty

“We do not merely want to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

Have you ever wanted to be united with beauty? I have felt that way watching a sunset on a summer night, riding on a train through the Swiss Alps, wandering through gardens in full and fragrant bloom, feeling the cool mist from a waterfall on my face, gazing at a painting that beckoned me to step into the canvas. Many times, I have wanted to bathe in beauty and become part of it.

This quote is one of my absolute favorites of C.S. Lewis. In fact Lewis' writing about beauty, as well as my own experiences, led me to write about it myself. This blog is one avenue I’m using to articulate what I believe is everyone’s desire for beauty. If you have an experience with beauty that you’d like to share, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me at contact@leannebenfieldmartin.com.


Brenda Leyland said...

Hi Leanne, I do know what you mean!! I recognize the longing you express!

You ask for feedback about our own experiences with beauty. In a nutshell, I'll never forget the time my sister and I walked into a beautiful garment store. It was full of antique dresses and gorgeous lacy outfits. The shop was so elegantly decorated, and when we walked into it, we both experienced a pang at the same moment within our souls.

The unexpectedness of all this exquisite beauty in the middle of a busy modern mall totally drew our breath away.

We realized we'd experienced one of those surprise by joy moments C.S. Lewis talks about.

It led us to a search for what it was we were longing, homesick for -- at the core of our being. And when we thought about it, we realized we were homesick for Eden, the place where mankind first lost Beauty as God first designed it.

When we look around, we all seem to long for it -- even if we don't know it -- perhaps because it's what we first knew, if that makes sense. Maybe our human DNA, as it gets passed from generation to generation, has something in it that causes each of us to 'remember'.

LeAnne Benfield Martin said...


Well said! Sounds like a special moment. I've had moments like that too--longings that are hard to explain but that have stayed with me all these years. Maybe I'll write about one of those moments soon.

Thanks for your wonderful comment.


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