eye-of-the-beholder

In the eye of the beholder.

Author Note: I wrote this a few years ago on my side project. Reposted it here, because I like it and want to consolidate the things I like under one roof. Have made a few edits here and there.
Repost from tiltrepublic.com 

tl;dr an essay on beauty.

Whenever I think of beauty, I’m reminded of that scene from FightClub where Edward Norton fucks up that guy, because he felt like destroying something beautiful.

Strangely, the visual impact of that iconic fight left me not able to look at Jared again in the same way for a very long time. It even impacted how I enjoyed 30 Seconds to Mars (until they did this). Beauty, whether unblemished or destructed has the ability to impact us in a profound way.

Beauty is a strange construct. Sometimes it can be sickening, pulling us to destroy it. A sappy, weak thing, that calls a rage from us that we never knew was there. Other times it can make us cry, overwhelmed by whatever our own personal mix of beauty is.

There is beauty in so many things. There is beauty in destruction. In pain. In a field of flowers. In a breath. There is beauty in my little girl as she sleeps. In a duck perched on top of a pole, the rising dawn as it’s backdrop. In the graffiti someone painted all over the carriage on the train I took into work this morning.

When you think about it, beauty tends to conjure up thoughts of peace and serenity. A quiet calm. It’s sublime. Demur. And yet it is these qualities that allows it to persist in the most unexpected of places. Beauty is subjective. I’m certain my personal brand of ‘beautiful’ is very different to yours. For me, it’s got to be a little fucked up. A little twisted. Decidedly tilted. It’s Yolandi Vi$$er. It’s Kat von D. It’s Fight Club. It’s graffitied trains. It’s metal like this. It’s Mix n Blend’s Oppi mix. It’s pretty much all my Pinterest posts.

It’s not ballet; It is thistattooed girls, underoath and a song by fun.

We may think that destruction is the enemy of beauty. But there is beauty in destruction. The degeneration can be something amazing. It all boils down to our point of view. I honestly think the antithesis of beauty isn’t destruction, it is apathy. We let life pass us by, absorbing but never adding to it, simply perpetuating the 9-5 40hr a week syndrome, as we scramble to pay off our debt, pay our rent and somehow pay for our procreation to go to school and get an education so that they, too, can rinse-repeat the cycle.

Modern society is stuck in a mundane existence. I find myself living vicariously through movies, in music and through those people around me that have managed to buck the system and throw themselves into being beautiful. I want to be beautiful. I want to be known for creating beauty. Instead I’m stuck in a 40hr a week job, doing tiny tweaks on the same thing every day.  Ad nauseam. It’s not that I’m not grateful. I get to spend my 120hour months in a pretty cool office. And I get to make something. But it’s not inspired. It’s not interesting. It’s not beautiful.

My outlook on life is decidedly alternative. It’s different, but even in difference it falls into a predefined set of rules. My brand of uniqueness has just been cloned from everyone else’s. I love that I’m not a commercial being. I like to tell myself I’m not one of the Bieber, Lady Gaga or Parlatone-loving non-thinkers out there. I’m not another one of the mindless many. But the truth is, I am. I may not like Bieber, but I’m a sucker for my iPhone. I buy Vida. I like my DCs and my Von Zippers. I want a Nixon watch. Or maybe a Tag Heuer. I only get tattoos at guys that do awesome work. And one day, when my 40hour work weeks pay off, and I’m no longer over my head in debt, and when I finally break out of this middle-class holding cell, I really want to buy a Ferrari. Why am I any different? I like metal and dubstep. I have dreads. My tattoos are innapropriate in most corporate jobs. I wear sneakers and a hoodie to work. But I’m still a slave to the suck. I like to think my one saving grace is that I’m aware. I know that I’m stuck and in my mind’s eye, I’m clawing my way out.

But my pessimistic side seems to say this might be our truth… Hope. That light at the end of our tunnel. Is there really a way out? I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, pondering on what allows us to escape. There are a few answers, I think. The truest and most obvious is to find a way to climb out; To be your own champion, and somehow through shear will and lack of fear, create a different reality. And there aren’t many who do this, but those that do, achieve wealth and we presume happiness. What seems to be a more achievable goal is to redefine what escaping means. I think it’s in no longer worrying about the light at the top of the climb, in finding peace and our success in our family, friends and the things we can do outside of our offices. In that, there lies an alluring glimmer that seems to say “accept your fate, and find happiness elsewhere”.

But there in lies our apathy. The lie inside the half-truth. It’s learning to both love life now – live fully;  connect deeply – and continue to strive to free ourselves from this suck. It’s a unique meld of the scramble and the considered. And it’s about creating beauty.

It’s something that I need to realise. We can all create beauty. We can all learn to really, deeply, share our lives with our families and friends. We can all find something that inspires us to be great, and dive into it. We need to learn to enjoy life. Share it with our family. Leave the 9-5 at the office and be present. We need to throw off the corporate stagnation and create something beautiful. And we need to learn to scramble.

I have realised I’m on a mission to create something beautiful. And then to do it again. And again. My rinse-repeat needs to be in creating beauty; not boredom. It’s creating a brightness where there is something dull. And I urge you to join me. The world is fucked up. Our middle class utopian dream is a nightmare. We’re over our heads in debt, working too many hours doing godawful jobs. It’s time we start creating again. Whatever that may mean to you.

I dare you to be beautiful.

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