148. Convention (Aesthetics 7)

rain rose

At some point we encounter a rose covered in raindrops, or a photo of a kitten catching snowflakes on its tiny nose, and we feel programmed to acknowledge this as beauty, as pleasing, which indeed it is. But the problem with convention is that it goes straight to the brain and bypasses the eyes of the heart, in much the same way as clichés do in language. A poem full of phrases we’ve heard many times before is unlikely to move us, to engage our emotions. Boredom is a terrible human invention, and familiarity (to use a cliché) does indeed breed contempt.

So what must we do when there is a rose covered in raindrops before us? We must see it with new eyes. Does our heart say it is lovely, and does it give us joy? Is it a meeting with beauty? Can we see something fresh and new here? Can we know for ourselves, the loveliness of each new rose?

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

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