What is beauty?
#1
Don't know if this is a good place for this.

What are some things that you find absolutely beautiful? It can be anything, simple or complex, ordinary or extraordinary. Just don't say stuff like "the TLM", point out what it is that you think makes it so beautiful.

I will go first and say that feeing when you just step outside on a spring day and the weather is absolutely perfect and there is a slight sweetness in the air, there's not much like it. Its so relaxing, especially where I live in Virginia. That's beautiful to me.
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#2
I'm not your conventional trad, as I'm about to prove (although I already mentioned this once before, just not in-depth): tattoos. Provided they're tasteful, of course!

I love learning the stories of why people get them: love for a family member or friend, a personal triumph, an inspirational motivation that drives them through life. I love hearing about them. My best friend and I always get ours for personal reasons like that, and it's fun to see what the other one wants to get and how they're decorating their temple. It's interesting to hear why people want to get all theirs in colour or in black and grey (or a combination of the two), what aesthetic they want them in (American traditional, watercolour, realism, minimalist, etc), all that good stuff. It really interests me and I find them beautiful.
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#3

There's so, soooooooo much to choose from, but to me, THE most beautiful thing on earth, barring religious stuff and people I love, is the sea. Nothing compares to it. No thing.

It's the most perfect metaphor for God that I can think of with its power, mystery, depth, fearsomeness, consistency, ineffable beauty, the life it holds, its ancientness, all the History it contains (can you imagine if the oceans were drained and you could see what lies on their floors?!), its literal awe-someness -- how emotionally overwhelming it is (at least for me)... Words can't capture what I feel about the sea.  I so want to see the sea again! That is the one thing I truly have on my "bucket list": to see the sea again -- not in a Boston-type situation where it's blocked off from you, but on a beach (with no one around) or, preferably, a rocky coastline with crashing waves. Just to be able to sit and see it, smell it, hear it, FEEL it -- it's to experience ecstasy for me. I jones for it.

I need to win the lottery, man LOL

Peter Kreeft "gets" some of what I feel about the sea:  http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/12_sea-...uality.htm

Ha, I sometimes see videos of public beaches, places like Venice Beach, for ex., where people are walking around showing off their bodies, lifting weights -- basically competing in a beauty contest, totally oblivious to the sea itself-- and I want to grab them all, shake them by their shoulders, and scream, "Don't you realize where you are?!?!?!?"

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#4
I'm a big fan of being outdoors, for me I see the most beauty in nature; God's creation.  Specifically, I love winter and mountains.  The whiteness, of snow, combined with the cold air and the complete silence as the cold scares most off trail is relaxing.  The thought of the absolute power involved in forming, then shattering and sculpting the rocks over the course of millennia, yet able to make something as fragile as a snowflake is mind boggling.

Here's a pic from a couple years back of a waterfall along the Potomac river in winter.  High of 2 (Farenheit, not that weird Canadian system  Grin) with 2 feet of snow.  Great hike, a chance to appreciate God's wonder as shown in nature.  Set up a shelter, rested, prayed a Rosary, then boiled some coffee and feasted on IDF tuna (as I call it).

[Image: IMG_1701.jpg]
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#5
Beautiful is the smell of a baby freshly born... either physically born or born again in baptism (I love the smell of chrism).

Beautiful is the first time your child utters the words, "I love you".

Beautiful is measuring your life with your spouse not in years, but decades.

Beautiful walking through the Hills, alone in the silence of nature that's anything but silent.

Beautiful is the edge of a lake with only the loons to keep you company.

Beautiful is the summer thunderstorm in the distance.

Beautiful is a garden in July.

Beautiful is a counter full of crimson-red jars of homemade raspberry jelly.
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#6
Oh, I almost forgot.

Beautiful is the scherzo.

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#7
Vox, if you haven't, you should read his whole book on the sea. It's quite good: http://www.amazon.com/Sea-Within-Waves-M...587317575/

I admit, I fell into a Socratic trap. I clicked on the title expecting to discover an exploration of beauty itself rather than examples of the beautiful, much like Socrates, when asking what is justice, was given examples of justice instead.  Sticking tongue out at you
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#8
When it comes to beauty, I am a big softie.  Each day, before I fall asleep, I like to think about some beauty that occurred that day.  It just makes me more appreciative of life and thankful to all the different way Our Lord is present.  Cheesey, I know.  Some days it is easier than others.  Unsure

I definitely appreciate a lovely sunny spring or summer day.  There is nothing more soothing than a warm day, a slight breeze and a hammock.  Those days when everything is quiet except for birds or frogs.  Conversely, I love the landscapes after a snowstorm.  White, fluffy, quiet and still.  I love little snowflakes and ice crystals frozen on windows.

I find beauty in watching clouds and I especially love the night sky.  The fact that everything in the natural world is in its place and set there by the hand of God amazes me. 

I find a lot of beauty in animals.  So many tropical birds and then simpler creatures like cattle.  It may seem lame but every day I make note of my pet fish’s beauty.  His long flowing fins.  Fish

Colours and shapes of flowers, vegetables and fruit.  I love how the natural world is full of colour and how the palate changes with the seasons.

Selfless love is beautiful.  Long-term love is beautiful.  The way mothers care for their children and then children lovingly care for their parents is very beautiful.

To be really geeky and kind of stereotypical, I think the balalaika is beautiful.  I absolutely adore the song ‘At Sunrise’ though I haven’t mastered it yet.  It makes my heart so happy as in roll in a field of rye happy.  If I want to get really sappy, the old classic ‘Moscow Nights’ is one of the most beautiful songs to me.

I could go on and on.  The only thing I know is that for me to find something beautiful, it has to be a gut feeling.  Sometimes the aesthetics of beauty require too much contemplation.
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#9
Richgr, what you said kind of reminds me of Job. He gets struck by all these terrible things and instead of answering why He let's these things happen God just starts listing off all of the things He can do just because He can. Every time I read that book I almost feel as though that's kind of God's version of satire.

Anyway... Of course you can discuss the meaning of beauty but I think that's missing the point. God is Beauty, that's it. Whenever we find something truly beautiful, we are just witnessing the ways in which that thing reflects the beauty of God. Of course nthat doesn't mean that the universe is God or anything of the sort but rather the world reflects the beauty present in the mind of it's Creator. Thus one could say to an extent that God is seen in the depth of the sea, the simple love of a child, or the rhythm of a scherzo in the same way that an artist is reflected in his painting.
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#10
Praire Mom, I think all of yours are so wonderful!

Beautiful is . . .
looking out at the snow topped mountains of Colorado and thinking "this is where I live." 
Or walking with the children and watching a hawk circle above as they look up in wonder. 
Or the chill of a summer morning in the garden, harvesting the gifts of the land. 
Or watching a herd of elk graze near the house.
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