The Question No One and Everyone Answers


The Abbey In The Oakwood
Casper David Friedrich
Germany 1810
Oil on Canvas

A recent discussion engaged my mind in the ever fleeting nature of Beauty and the human being’s cyclical approach toward it. The people of the world have always made for and attached to themselves what is contemporarily defined as Beautiful, for a belief that rarely changes is that the life lived is little lived without such a creation and adherence.

As the closing argument goes, who is to define what is Beautiful? Such an argument is usually related with, at the very least, an insinuation that the arguer is granted the sole permission to define the loaded idea though the implications of the question itself suggests that no one can define this idea without undermining its worth to any of the innocent bystanders. How does the one tell the other that Beauty is mistakenly lost within these pursuits of the common soul if the other muffles such tellings with its own tales?

The advancement of the ideal then only festers in its own filth since any discussion before the pedestal is with the pedestal itself, and the afterward movement is toward the conversion of those near the pedestal to what one believed to be its exposed Truths.

And since the party of one can only provide minimal upkeep to such a monument, those converted are not converted at all but instead unintentionally and thoughtlessly engage in the expositions of those whom yell the loudest. Thus, running to the most popular soapbox becomes the new standard for living.

Soon enough the pedestal is ruined by neglect and no one notices… no one notices. No one notices because the pursuit changed from an attempt at understanding and building upon the pedestal to an attempt at crowning one’s own achievements upon it. And since everyone believes their own understanding is the pedestal, no one cares to investigate the components and constituents of its makeup.

I approach the ruins as the bystanders turn their backs toward it in the distance and yell their ideas into the wind, and I ask, “What is Beauty?”

Eric

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