I have a candid picture of my wife when we were getting engaged, just her face, eyes pointing somewhere on the horizon, like a door shut on eternity. It was the eyes. It was always the eyes. Huge brown orbs that would swell up with tears at unexpected times, every water droplet seemed to be accounted for. If anyone wanted to learn shades of brown, all they had to do was get really close to her and look at her eyes, various shades woven in her irises at precise intervals, like the cross section of the wood of an ancient tree. I couldnt believe myself then – THIS – This beauty is going to be mine. Even today, when there are days when I wonder why, I look at that picture and my mind goes silent, all questions dissolve into that brown. Sometimes I feel like making her cry just to see those browns get flooded, just to glimpse what was, to reassure myself.
The question arises “Is the world a manifestation of beautiful ideas?” the same way a poem is a manifestation of beautiful thoughts or technology is that of beautiful science. Is the world a work of art?
One look at her and you know the answer.
Her beauty is a leash. Every time I come across it unexpectedly, I walk into the cage which I have built for myself and which I’ve desperately tried to free myself of, and shut the doors and lock them, and offer the key to her. All offerings to a God are wasted but that doesn’t stop people pouring gold down the drain, does it?
Her beauty is a promise. Not of fulfillment or ownership which I am so often accused of, but of joy. Unexpected joy popping up in unexpected places after long days, like a long tiring trek in on scree and morraine and unexpectedly coming across a bright blue pristine lake that you weren’t warned about at that very moment, whose water is too cold for a dip and forbidden, yet its the only place where your own reflection looks enticing enough.
Her beauty is freedom. A much cherished and much chased silence. It puts me in my place. It makes me feel privileged. It makes me feel insignificant. It fills me for a moment with a profound sadness which I am grateful for, it gives a name to that knot in the throat. Because if you cannot be thoroughly sad, you cannot be thoroughly happy.
Her beauty fills me with contradictions. I’d prefer it to not be there at all because if you think about it, what good does beauty bring? What’s the use of a rainbow? Can you see a rainbow in a memory? How do people live with a rainbow I wonder. How impossibly demanding that would be. Yet, like people say there’s a personal god, I say there’s a personal beauty, the sight of which just blinds you to the presence of anything else – in you, in front of you, for you, or a fantasy.
A personal beauty is your own redemption through your own senses.
The beauty may be transient or so they claim, the cynics who do not see through my eyes.
But the redemption.
It is eternal.