When I think of the word "beauty," some of the faces of those that I love come into my mind. When I think of beauty I also think of beautiful landscapes that I know. Then I think of acts of such lovely kindness that have been done to me, by people that cared for me, in bleak unsheltered times or when I needed to be loved and minded. I also think of those unknown people who are the real heroes for me, who you never hear about, who hold out on lines — on frontiers of awful want and awful situations and manage somehow to go beyond the given impoverishments and offer gifts of possibility and imagination and seeing. - John O'Donohue
Listening to podcasts -- especially podcasts about beauty- is a favorite activity of mine while doing calligraphy. This is because I find that the word is overused; that it is often used as a descriptor of something that has come into existence out of money, not out of imagination or resourcefulness; that it can be frustratingly vague and unspecific. I can't recommend this episode from On Being, the Inner Landscape of Beauty, highly enough. It is an interview with the late poet and philosopher John O'Donohue (yes, I know that this website has all of the trappings of being incredibly woo-woo, from the Papyrus font to the Celtic music. Soldier on.) I listened to the episode three times. The conversation touched on nearly every aspect of beauty I am interested in and wonder about: the confusion of glamour with beauty; beauty's role in the workplace; beauty as an manifestation of doing work you love (and the loneliness of doing the wrong kind of work); the wistful pride of a conductor when he looks upon the soloist. Thank you, John and Christa.