Where Beauty Resides
By Del Wolsey
When younger we sometimes played a game where the challenge would be, for example, counting how many red cars you could see for a given period of time. Of course, it seemed like the “gods” were there sending red cars our way – or not. We in fact were just more “alert” to the red cars already there around us just waiting to be noticed.
We can apply the same principle to life in general and in particularly to our life here in Ajijic.
For example, let’s take the quality of “beauty”. This is more complicated than finding red cars because the concept of beauty is more personal/subjective. Nevertheless, instead of counting “things” that are beautiful (and by definition it would imply some things are not) we could start with a different, more inclusive assumption that there is an element of “beauty” in everything and our job is to recognize and acknowledge it.
This is not easy because human nature leads us to create a binary world of “either” “or”; of “like it” or “not like it”, or in this case, “it is beautiful” or “it is not”.
Of course, something may be in our mind, more beautiful than another but what is it in the “other” what aspect, what simple feature is indeed “beauty”?
The bird of paradise is beautiful to me but what is there about that single, lonely, neglected, unnoticed rose growing out of the brickwork at our gate that is indeed, “beauty”? How does it, in its own way engender inspiration, different from, but not less important than the bird of paradise, in all its startling glory. First, like many other things we have to notice it, give it its quota of attention and then see what beauty it has to offer.
Once again, finding beauty in a sunset over the lake, colorful store fronts, decorations on the Plaza, display of fruit in the market, spectacular designs of the hacienda, a family dressed for celebration, a dazzling grey horse in the parade. It all seems in these examples so easy and effortless, so natural and spontaneous.
The challenge therefore, is in the pile of dry grass and twigs at the traffic circle, the harvest of oranges from the tree already fallen and scattered to the ground, the abandoned hacienda wall overgrown with weed, the unsaddled, scrawny horse tied at the road, the brown and crooked vegetable- last on the shelf, the simple unlit cafe entrance, the struggling stray dog trying for her next meal.
All have “beauty.”
Can you see it?
Just like the red cars that “show up” when you are “alert” for them, the sights of Ajijic will do the same. They have always been here, waiting to be noticed. The change will not come in them but in you.