While I was fixing our dinner tonight, it occurred to me that if somebody just popped up out of nowhere and asked me what I find beautiful right now, I would probably name the following things: First, I like the blog my friend Noelia wrote. Specially the last three posts. I like the pictures and everything else about her and her blog. I had just read her last post and it is still in my head, this is why I named it first. Second, I like the song I listened to yesterday, my heart still holds its rhythm and makes me breath one extra time every now and then. Third, I like the Lambrusco Dell’Emilia wine, as it works perfectly well with the hot and humid Barcelona weather. Also, it is amazingly light and it is almost like drinking rose sparkling water. It keeps you lean and fresh. Fourth, I like that my hands and legs are still tired from swimming. I like to swim, athletically, making an effort. And I also like to watch people swim, as I find it highly aesthetic and beautiful. It is as if your whole body became just one single muscle: your heart. And you feel its rhythm on the tips of your fingers. You have no soul then, or at least you never think about soul when you swim. You think about nothing. You just concentrate all your physical strength on making one solid rhythmic move after another, focusing only on the end of the swimming line, but knowing you will make at least twenty of them. The effort holds the beauty. Fifth, I like people’s faces when they are engaged in thinking. I observed some at the cafe this afternoon. It makes their eyes deeper and their smiles invisible. And it is up to one’s intuition to catch the beauty of this smile through the corners of people’s eyes.
Beauty is not a set of attributes. Beauty is the lack of vulgarity. The more I think about all the things that I find beautiful, the more I see that lack of vulgarity is what they all hold in common. And I am not talking about all these three million big and little things that we label as beautiful in front of others to make them feel good or to play our role. I am talking about that rarely labeled beauty that we feel with our throats, lungs and skin. When something strikes us as beautiful we forget how to breath for half a second. We swallow our words like a heart shaped ice cube, and it sometimes gets stuck half way in our throats, leaving a cold metallic taste of wishful bravery in our mouths. And only our skin knows the whole story of paying tribute to the beauty. But we rarely follow the intuition of our skin.
We do not say out loud that something is beautiful when we truly feel so. The sounds will be wasted. We fall silent. This silence and the enlarged pupils of our eyes are the only signs that beauty is about to touch the courage of our hearts. Any words would be vulgar. May be music would be able to express it. But sometimes I doubt even that.
Beauty is the lack of vulgarity. Looking at the stars makes me fall silent too.
Barcelona, August 15th 2012