AND Behold

September 21st, 2014

I am fascinated by how technology, used unconsciously, changes our lives in ways we often don’t recognize until it is too late. In particular, I have been watching people taking selfies, as they document where they are or what they are doing. AND I wonder sometimes if we actually behold the beauty of the moment, rather than trying to capture and document it, if we might actually live more from our hearts, and therefore, live more fully and in touch with what is real.

I went to an art show yesterday to see a particular collection. While it was wonderful, I came across another exhibit that really captured my attention. An artist named Amy Stacey Curtis has done a series of small pencil drawings of simple objects…scissors, a single staple, a staple remover, a safety pin, tweezers, and the like. The care with which she studied the objects was evident in the precision and lighting of her drawings. I felt as if I could feel her beholding the objects.

In some ways I guess we could say that the artist captured her perception of beauty for others to enjoy. Yet, there is some kind of qualitative difference for me between taking constant selfies to post for others and being with objects in ways that reflect beholding something beautiful. One seems to touch what is real and beautiful in the moment, the other an illusion.

In the case of the selfie, I don’t get the sense that the one who took the picture actually stopped to behold the moment she or he was trying to capture. By simply taking pictures to preserve moments, we go to our heads, unconsciously planning a future event, such as posting for others or anticipating their reactions, rather than beholding the moment we are trying to document.

In the case of the artist studying, being with, and beholding beauty, we are invited to touch something very real. I found myself beholding the beauty of her work in a way that filled my heart.

Whatever you find beautiful and joy filled, stop to hold it with no intention to preserve the moment. If we only focus on beholding the present moment, we can know what is real AND behold the beauty of the moment.

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