Jim Kelso

Embracing Beauty

It’s been a little tough the last months to find a lot to be encouraged about. The centuries-long trajectory of linear, reductionist thinking aspiring to be a legitimate world view seems close to clunking to its own demise. The major thing I do to keep grotesque worldly shenanigans at bay is to keep doing the stuff that has reliably filled my tank over decades.

American Indians say “Walk in Beauty”. What this means to me is to attend, in what ever way you can, to the underlying Infinite Mystery. For me, in terms of practice, one major part of this is being in Nature as much as possible, and working at the conveyance of that experience through my art/craft.

I don’t hold to a narrow, glamorous, contemporary urban view of beauty. Give me the forest floor with all miraculous life forms giving themselves up to soil-building, and the perennial wealth flowing from that. Admittedly my taste runs toward the dry; what the Japanese might term wabi or sabi (please note: these are two terms having two different meanings. It’s not correct to think of them together as one word).

Please embrace the beauty in your life whether it is dry, wet, sensual, austere, auditory, visual, conceptual, imaginational or any of the ten thousand manifestations. As to giving into fear, none of us have that kind of time.


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