Sunday, April 14, 2013

Precious Moments of Perfect Beauty

I was reminded this morning, while browsing through Facebook posts, of something special I discovered many years ago, courtesy of a favorite writer - J. Michael Straczynski.  I'm a huge fan of Babylon 5, but it's been a while since I treated myself to a marathon session. I'd forgotten one of my favorite scenes  - "A Moment of Perfect Beauty".

I won't go into the setup, it would take too long and unless you're a fan, it wouldn't really make sense even then. But the concept, moments in our lives that possess that perfect beauty, stayed with me. I began to amass some of my own - and I invite you to do the same.

What is it? It will be different for each of us because it is, to me anyway, intensely personal. It is a tiny slice of time, during which something, someone, somewhere, some image, scent or sound...whatever... that something slips past the everyday existence we accept as normal. It burrows into our brains, and for those few moments it swells our soul and shrinks our ego. We become aware of our place in the cosmos, how we fit into life. For a second or two, we are part of something so massive it should overpower us, but it doesn't. It brings joy with that realization, the pleasure of just "being"... linked invisibly to something safe and immortal.

None of this makes sense unless you've experienced a moment of your own. And perhaps you have. That moment on vacation when you finally realize you're relaxed. Or that instant when you realize the only thing you can hear is the rain against the windows and your own heartbeat. For many of us, holding our children while they sleep is a perfect moment. Or simply sinking into a favorite chair and closing our eyes. It's nothing huge, but its impact can be enormous.

For me - I have several moments of perfect beauty. One poignant one I enjoy again and again is of sitting on my couch years ago, one spring morning. The windows were open, the wisteria outside was in full bloom, the sun was warm and my dog lay next to me, her head on my leg, sound asleep. I was running my fingers over her silky ear, my eyes closed, surrounded by the scent of my flowers and listening to birds sing as the breeze rustled through the tree over my driveway. For those few moments there were no cars, or other noises. It was just a few seconds...but there it was. Imprinted on my soul forever. My darling pup has gone on, I no longer have that couch or live in that house. I won't see or smell the wisteria this year. But I have that moment of perfect beauty to sustain me. And I'll hold onto it forever.

I have others. Personal ones I won't share. I do love the ocean, so being there at sunrise, on the East coast? Wow. Yeah. The chill of night being chased away by the colors of dawn. Truly amazing. Much better, IMHO, than sunset.

(Chatham, on Cape Cod, Massachusetts)
And I'm dotting this blog with images that are beautiful. Because perfect beauty in this instance isn't about makeup or poses or supermodels. It's about what hits you someplace where you're not expecting it. Where you suck in a breath of surprise or lose it completely. When your day sucks and yet there it is...the urge to smile and cuddle a kitten. Those can be moments of perfect beauty. I'm sure there are lots of fancy phrases within the field of psychology for this phenomenon. Maybe it's a form of meditation, or self-hypnosis. Escape? Absolutely. All I can say is that recently I've found myself very glad to have my own moments. Stress is always there, but so are those tiny seconds when I just AM. 

They've kept me going, helped me through many a take off and landing (not a great flier, I'll confess) and sometimes at the end of those days you think will go on for ever, they've helped me drift off into much-needed rest.

So I invite you to explore the idea if you haven't already. And if you have, please go away from your computer now, find yourself a favorite spot - and enjoy your own Moment of Perfect Beauty.


(I found these images on Google, so I hope I'm not violating anyone's copyright. If I am, please let me know and I'll remove them.)

(And in case you're REALLY curious about the Babylon 5 scene that started all this for me, here it is. Just go with it.)