‘Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.’
~ Confucius

Being new to blogging, I didn’t anticipate either the extent or the excellence of the beauty I would find here.

The generosity with which life’s artists are willing to share their vision of the world, in rich image, word, sentiment and connection has drawn me in and keeps me spellbound.

I, for one, do my collecting and creating with words.  Within my mind’s databases, that is how my understanding of existence is stored and recalled as well.

If you were to look up an object under my personal Dewey  Decimal System, it does not hold a picture, as I imagine many others do.  No, mine simply has a listing of characteristics.  i.e.  ‘house’ : (in my part of the world…) typically rectangular, a door, windows, covered with a triangular lid , sealed from weather and threat, a place of safety, gathering and rest for individuals or groups of individuals…

And as I look through photographs, I notice that it is more important for me to secure visuals of moments with those I love than it is to capture nature’s splendor.

(Those images, cherished in my mind’s memory, are perhaps made even more beautiful by the gentle softening and shifting that takes place there.  But I don’t want to soften any of the hard-earned lines in my grandmother’s skin, the piercing intensity of my lover’s eyes,  or the indisputable delight in my son’s smile. )

I also notice a void in my albums.  The absence of me.

My current partner  (a musician, artist and photographer) loves taking photos of me.  Before we even went out on our first date he had taken more shots of me than my former boyfriend had in seven years.

I now have a plethora of texts and emails containing my face and I can only tolerate the quantity of Facebook posts because of his agreement not to tag me.  I sometimes want to hide from his lens.  But what is it that makes me so uncomfortable?

First, is a fear I’ve discovered about being seen; a phobia too unexplored to weigh in here…  But second, is my lack of familiarity at seeing myself as he does.

I consider myself to be rather objective and rational when it comes to such things.

I know that I have most of the traits included under the listing for ‘Western concepts of Caucasian feminine beauty’:   thin,  fit, long legs, long hair, large breasts, symmetrical face, fair skin, light eyes…  But then, so does an albino spider.

And yet, I can’t help but wonder at the evident beauty looking back at me from those photos.

I didn’t know that before.

Each time I see said ex, he tells me how good I look.  And I always  reply that I look the same.  — Which is both true and not true.

My face, my hair, my body and most of my wardrobe is the same as during the time we spent together.  But now I am being looked at differently.  I am being seen by one who looks for and wants to celebrate my beauty.

And I find that this vision is projected into reality.  A reality where others see me as he does, and where even I am coming to recognize that there is… something…

That beauty may be less in what is actually seen by the beholder, or even in the beholder’s personal categorizing of beauty, but in the magnificence of the beholder themselves…

In the beauty of a man who loves me so well, that his beauty is reflected onto and within me for all to see.

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