Monday, September 10, 2007

A beauty full life

I hadn't realised quite how important beauty is in my life until this weekend. I've been on a weekend workshop with the awesome Mike Handcock ( and had so many insights, it's hard to recount them all. But this insight really stood out for me. It came from an exercise where we wrote down three words for each question asked (such as three qualities we admired, three talents we have, three passions we have...etc) and then circled words that came up more than once. Beauty came up four times for me.

It got me thinking about where beauty is and the role it plays in my life. I see beauty in my little dog George, in Penny and Jester (my horses), in the vast sky that stretches above me and the earth and grass beneath my feet as I walk from home to the horses' field. I see beauty in nature all around me everyday, and I'd starve without it. I see beauty in the faces and the souls of people I meet. To me beauty is not about what you look like, it's about who you are.

I truly appreciate beauty in words, in sounds and in pictures. I appreciate beauty in a website, a book, a photograph, a painting. And I need to give beauty in everything I do. It's perhaps why I am so visually pedantic and have such high standards for wanting things to look right. It's why I am picky about the cartoonist in my books, why I love the work of Tania Lambert who has created illustrations for me. Why I want to create visually stimulating and creative ebooks as well as write beautifully crafted words in them.

Perhaps it's also why I get very frustrated with the 'salesy' websites that look and sound the same. Does any one else care that something published on the web should have the same quality and standards as something printed in hard copy?

I guess I shouldn't be so surprised that beauty figures so largely in my life. I look up from my computer to the collage of pictures and words I made over a year ago and put on my wall - the biggest word on that collage is beauty!

Here is my beauty-full George (he was a bit smelly when we took this pic though - not sure what he'd been rolling in. I put him down very quickly!)