i have no idea why this got stuck in my head, but it was all i could think since reading the word. and there are plenty of more interesting things i could have written about, beautiful places and people and experiences i’ve known…but i couldn’t get that one line from keats’ ode on a grecian urn out of my mind: the one that goes, beauty is truth; truth beauty.
so yeah, i’m a geek. i know. just wait. it will get geekier, but only slightly, i promise, i won’t interpret it line by line or anything like that…
i remember reading this in high school, and being struck by keats’ poetry, his odes in particular, i don’t know exactly why. maybe because an ode was meant to be complex and complicated, lyrical (and i fancied myself all of those, haha) or maybe because originally, like back in ancient greece, they were intended to be sung? or coz the guy wrote like a fucking boss, and was way ahead of his time and died way too young? i don’t know exactly, but i loved this poem, and i loved learning all the hot debates about its last two lines.
like who was speaking it? the urn to him? him to the urn, or to the characters on the urn, who were going to be there beyond him, speaking to onlookers in perpetuity? or him to us? and what was the commentary, exactly?
here’s my read: art is a better storyteller than clunky, awkward words. beauty is in the eye of the beholder – for that person, the thing that makes their heart sing, the person who turns their crank – is what is beautiful, and that’s final. that beauty, what we find beautiful – art, nature, the body – is the only truth worth living.
I can’t put my love of this simply down to the motion, there’s a ton more to it than that; the noise of the waves and the boat coarsing through them, the smell of the salt, the feel of the wind against your skin, and the wood of the deck, and the salty splashes hitting your bare feet that are dangling over the side, the sun on your skin, to name a few… But, the motion is a part of it. The gentle up and down, the watching the waves and knowing in your head already the motion the boat will take. It’s like a rocking really… a more obvious one when sailing into the waves, and a more gentle slower one, when riding the waves travelling in the same direction, with the wind behind you, just the genoa out, catching the wind and bringing you back in. There’s a safety and a beauty in it, and I really miss it sometimes.
i am obsessed with sunsets. obsessed. ask anyone who knows me best – my wife, pocketbrit, even my kiddo – they have all lost me to a good sunset chase at least once.
when i say i have hundreds of photos from which to choose, i mean it.
i don’t quite know why i continue to try and capture them, because none of the photos i’ve taken have come even close to the beauty that is playing out before me. i inevitably end up frustrated with the deficiency of the tools i’m using (and my own self for not succeeding, yet again), cursing quietly, swearing i’ll never try again, that next time, i will just try to enjoy the moment. my daughter even said this past summer (with maturity beyond her eight years) after a particularly fruitless chase, mom, it’s okay, there’ll be another one tomorrow. and i wanted to cry and stomp my feet because didn’t she know, there won’t be today’s sunset ever again. i missed the only chance i had to hold the end of today.
it’s so silly. i know it.