A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore on every morrow we are wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits… – John Keats (1795-1821)
What he meant
In this poem.
It must have been the first time I watched Mary Poppins
on a movie theater’s big screen
Pulling a potted plant from her carpet bag…
She also was one who appreciated beauty.
And I became perfectly and utterly entranced—
Mary Poppins was the most beautiful, magical, awe-inspiring creature
I had ever witnessed in my young life
(especially in her fluffy white dress worn in the
chalk drawing’s make-believe countryside).
Since then the poetic line has remained with me all these years…
A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
All my life and in every place I’ve ever been, I have looked for beauty.
I don’t know why—it’s just something within me…
Whenever I’ve found myself in a situation severely lacking in beauty,
The first thing I attempt to do is bring order, and cleanliness,
tossing out things that don’t belong, and rearranging what should be kept…
Then I start adding touches of beauty.
There is a serious struggle within my spirit, though,
When I recognize the need for beauty
(or for anything of noble worth: truthfulness, generosity,
selflessness, purity, grace, patience, humility)…
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… – Galatians 5:22-23
But beauty evades… remains hidden, for some reason unknown…
To be continued…