A Certain Kind of Beauty
August 12, 2008 5:25 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to cultivate a certain kind of beauty in life - something exemplified by the likes of Dumbo feather, pass it on and Keri Smith's blog. Where else can I find such beauty?

This would be a hard thing to put into words, but essentially I found that I'm tired of the rat-race, having to promote myself every second, get to the top life that I've lived for the past few years. I want to take it slow. I'm also tired of having to define myself by what I do - I'd rather just be me, regardless of my job description.

I'm imagining this new state of mind in pictures - sunsets, blowing dandelion puffs, free and floating, soft and gently. Almost bohemian. Peaceful, somewhat magical, doing good for the world by sharing peaceful vibes.

I'm looking for people, media, resources, etc that inspire that sort of beauty.

Dumbo Feather is an Australian mook that interviews 5 people about their lives per issue - what I loved about it (aside from the great writing) was that while their interviewees did all sorts of interesting things, they weren't defined by their job. Rather, the interviews showcased how they saw and moved in the world. Similarly, this post from Keri Smith affected me deeply as it sums up how I feel, and I find her blog inspiring in the same way.

What else could I read, see, do? Does anyone understand the type of beauty I'm trying to reach out to? What else (or who else) exemplifies that beauty for you?
posted by divabat to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
In Praise of Slow by Carl Honoré is a good read and seems to fit your definition.

I find sometimes when I spend lots of time doing something that is not my job and people ask what I do, I tend to tell them I'm what currently consumes me. It's surprising the wonderful conversations that come from it. Especially when I mention I make money as a web developer. I find bliss in writing. So I define myself as a writer.

Speaking of bliss, the conversations Bill Moyers has with Joseph Campbell on The Power of Myth delve into these ideas.
posted by pedantic at 6:20 PM on August 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

You may want to look into the slow life movement in Japan.
posted by naju at 7:45 PM on August 12, 2008

How To Be Idle is a particularly kickass manifesto about this. Not so much gentle and floating as "lazing about as radical, counter-cultural act." But in a very entertaining manner.
posted by so_necessary at 9:02 PM on August 12, 2008

The essentialist who believes beauty remains constant over the centuries and the historicist or social constructionist who believes that even the deepest structures of the soul are susceptible to cultural shaping have no need, when confronting the present puzzle, to quarrel with one another. For either our responses to beauty endure unaltered over centuries, or our responses to beauty are alterable, culturally shaped. And if they are subject to our willful alteration, then we are at liberty to make of beauty what we wish. And surely what we should wish is a world where the vulnerability of a beholder is equal to or greater than the vulnerability of the person beheld, a world where the pleasure-filled tumult of staring is a prelude to acts that will add to the beauty already in the world—acts like making a poem, or a philosophic dialogue, or a divine comedy; or acts like repairing an injury or a social injustice. Either beauty already requires that we do these things (the essentialist view) or we are at liberty to make of beauty the best that can be made—a beauty that will require that we do these things. Elaine Scarry, On Beauty and Being Just
posted by xod at 9:27 AM on August 13, 2008

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