Thursday, March 17, 2011

On beauty, from The Art of Getting Lost

"Marine was a delicate tomboy, sultry and pale, with the soft perfect skin of a child and fierce dark eyes better described as long than large. I remember a furtive look she had, of a cornered animal, and how elegant she'd become that last night. People wanted to capture her, like a wild thing, and take care of her, like a child. Beauty is often spoken of as though it only stirs lust or admirations, but the most beautiful people are so in a way that makes them look like destiny or fate or meaning, the heroes of a remarkable story. Desire for them is in part a desire for a noble destiny, and beauty can seem like a door to meaning as well as to pleasure. And yet such people are often nothing extraordinary except in their effect on others. Exceptional beauty and charm are among those gifts given by the sinister fairy at the christening. They give the bearer considerable sway over others, which can keep them so busy being a sort of siren on the rocks where others shipwreck that they forget that they themselves need to figure out where they are going. Marine had this quality of living in a story one might want to live in too, but she had ability, application and boldness as well as beauty."  - Rebecca Solnit 

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