This decadent world has me down. The gut tension was so strong yesterday that I took a long walk hoping to mellow out. At Livadia, I sat under the tamarisks and aimed my gaze towards the sea. Looking at the horizon is always somewhat of a mystical experience—it reminds me that there’s so much more to the world than just me.
The wrap around blue of the Aegean sea and sky were interrupted only by a few boats and the contours of Serifos and Sifnos. And a lonely little cloud off in a corner. For a moment I felt as if I were living in a painting.
Meditating on beauty offers relief from all this decadence invading our lives. Beauty, for me, is an existential need.
This morning I tried reading, again, George Santayana’s “The Sense of Beauty”. He’s much too wordy for me and, like most philosophers, has a tendency to over explain. But here are a few of his observations I would like to share:
Trying to separate nature from beauty is madness.
Art comes from life.
Experience is worth more than theory.
How we evaluate beauty comes from our capacity to perceive.
Beauty is a value.
Preference is ultimately irrational.
And, my own observation here, the art experience is the interrelationship between the gazer and the gazed upon.
Below are three fotos of Parian pruning that give me more aesthetic pleasure than most of the contemporary art exhibitions I’ve seen in the past few years.
Related: to read Santayana’s SENSE OF BEAUTY free download on Gutenberg Project HERE + George Santayana (1863-1952) + Santayana’s Sense of Beauty + The Mended Curb