Today I witnessed, was blessed, by beauty that brought tears to my eyes and nearly brought me to my knees. I have seen the Mona Lisa in real life, and I don't make that assertion lightly. I felt in the hand of my daughter, pressed to mine, and saw it in a collage such as only a child can make.
"I know what beauty is" I read somewhere, cannot remember who wrote that, but on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at the mall I was hit full force by its unmistakable truth.
My daughter and I were at the mall to view the art exhibits of local schoolchildren, hers included. She was eager to see it, as was I. Her piece was a mixed media collage of what she dubbed the "Silly Bot", a whimsical creation of metallic foil paper, markers, crayons and pens. The Silly Bot, as one would expect, is a robot in a silly pose, flanked by a bird in a cage (wearing a party hat), a small stage (what she dubbed the "joke stand", a small platform complete with microphone) and the "Amazing Flying Zebra", an airborne zebra wearing "rocket boots" (complete with flames) to boost it into the sky.
She said "There it is, daddy!" in that voice that is the essence of a child's glee. I felt a surge of pride, wonder and gratitude that the day had taken me there. She smiled and my heart followed. This was the wonder of creation, the joy of something unspoiled by the grinding of life. That someone could take so much delight in a simple act of creation! My god, the amount of beauty there is when we let ourselves see!
She wanted to see more, so we wandered amongst the displays. Batik prints, ceramic plaques, paintings, drawings, colors and collages. This was not the Louvre, nor did it need to be. It did not want to be. It was while gazing upon a print of a tortoise, done in muted primaries on a burlap screen, that I felt a lump in my throat. At that moment with my daughter's hand in mine, surrounded by the collective joy of heartfelt creation made material, by the simple presence of Art, my knees went weak. There were momentary tears in my eyes. I looked down at my daughter who was taking great delight on pointing out new treasures.
"I know what beauty is..." Yes, I do. It was next to me, around me, holding my hand, letting me see.