The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Perception in the Water

Beauty is a collection of insecurities that someone, long ago, successfully passed off as desirable.

We rarely hear people say that someone is beautiful for a reason that they think they are also beautiful for. People look at others for things they don’t see in themselves. A woman who is in love with her hair doesn’t usually compliment another woman for her hair, she looks at the other person for the things she wishes she had. We should not wish on things we cannot change, for our flaws are what make us human and humanity is all we have.

Everyone sees themselves as an incomplete puzzle, with a few pieces lost under the couch. We see others who we believe to “have all their pieces”. There are no personal puzzles, all of our pieces fit together. We all have those notches, the flaws, the “holes”, but someone else has the piece that fits next to ours and fills the “hole”. Not every piece looks the same, fits with all other pieces or has as many holes as another, it’s still just cardboard and paper; flesh and blood.

Good things can only be defined as good if there is something bad to compare them to. How would we know if a person was beautiful if we did not know what ugliness was? Beauty is nothing without ugly, and vice-versa. Therefore if we destroy our ideas of ugliness, we also destroy our ideas of beauty. Destroying our perception of beauty is a good thing, if we no longer perceive things as beautiful, or ugly, we can see ourselves and everyone else equally. We are all floating in a dark, shimmering river that distorts our reflections and the levees of beauty and ugly on opposing banks trap us here. If those walls crumble, we can walk again, together.

Without beauty and ugliness, good and bad, how would we perceive things? What would pop culture be like without them? Who would be famous? Why would they be famous? Would people be famous at all? Would the world be equal?

These questions have no answer, and never will. The world will never be perfect, the ideas of what is beautiful and what is ugly will stick around forever. These ideas will rule society forever, shaping our culture, media and relationships. For now, we float in the river finding imperfections in the ripples and the driftwood, treading water in a losing battle to the undertow. Destroying the levees is not possible, but if we can at least chip away at them and release some water, our feet will touch the riverbed and we can at least save ourselves from drowning.

One comment on “Perception in the Water

  1. JG Allan
    March 25, 2014

    that first sentence is beautiful.

    (nice piece overall, too)

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2014 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , , .

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