I think it was my girlfriend Jennifer (or maybe it was a social media connection ‘met’ through her) who first offered this incredible piece of music by The Cinematic Orchestra (Arrival of the Birds and Transformation). In any case, (as I recall), it was in conjunction with one of her thoughtfully curated social media posts utilizing the first minute of the composition supporting the Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia commercial with Emily DiDonato who artfully conveys the heady sensuality envisioned by Neel Majumder to ‘brand’ the fragrance and directed by the acclaimed and ridiculously talented Fabien Baron – but it is the extended version by The Cinematic Orchestra which has found resonance with me and the newest chapter of my life (I encourage you to go back and open the first link and play this while reading my post).
What is beautiful? Everyone’s definition will vary based upon nurture and nature, exposure and experience, arbitrary ‘taste’ (which may or may not have evolved passed our youthful innocence and appreciation) and, most especially, the contents of the soul. For I have found beauty (laying backwards over a pew) in the ceilings of the 12th century Cistercian monastery at Maulbronn, (laying on the ground) under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris witness to the masterful application of the gifts of talent applied to the theme of ‘glory’ – as well as the majesty of a raging sea against a man-made beacon, the Phare du Four in Bretagne France (photo by Jean Guichard) by example.
‘Beautiful’ is also the resonance within us – the height of self-compassion and love that pulls toward us, and into us, (like a gorgeous piece of music that ‘tunes’ us) people who are either hungry for such nurturance or those who have journeyed far enough on their own to find the essence of our being so compelling as to become ‘more’ in our midst. We are more beautiful when, whether in the love based in friendship or in romance, the common denominator is not about material wealth, not about what someone can do for you or your career, not filling a deep abyss, longing or ill-defined ‘need’ but presented in the fullness of our being where we are fully in at-one-ment before them. The place of such surety and comfort that regardless of how ‘evolved’ we might believe ourselves to be we strive to be ‘that much more’ because anything less would be a betrayal of the purest element of our existence.
There is not an Excel spreadsheet to define monetary value found ‘here’. The value is only the beating of hearts, the catch of our breath at experiencing wonder, the synchronicity of thought, a purpose to develop a harmony lush as birdsong in pre-dawn light, the swell of an orchestra, the crash of the seas, or the dazzling wonder found in an ink coloured sky full of stars and thus mirrored in the eyes of lovers.
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