The Delight of Unexpected Beauty

hidden beauty

Although I have never been a particular fan of Victorian architecture, I am entranced by  this example of art in a mundane setting. And after spending a lifetime of seeing and using only the cheap, banal door knobs, roses, and faceplates of post WWII home building, even a glimpse of this beautiful cast brass faceplate gladdens the heart. (Sorry to see ill chosen replacement screws.) A closer look reveals decorative door knobs. Probably cast brass hinges are visible on the other side of the door and frame. I relish the care involved in creating beauty for every aspect of life.

I apologize for not knowing who took the picture or where it was taken. I would gladly give attribution if only I knew.

Copyright 2018 by Kaye Fairweather

Beauty Liberates


Photo by Pixabay

“Genuine beauty liberates us in many ways from the force of gravity, drawing us out of the dull capacity of daily life. At the sight of the truly beautiful we are freed from the tension that urges us on toward some immediate practical goal. We become contemplative, and this is immensely valuable. We expand, and even our soul itself becomes more beautiful when beauty come to meet us, takes hold of us, and fires us with enthusiasm. It lifts us up above all that is base and common.”


Beautiful Poet Speaks about Beauty

Copy of Social Media - Photographic Cityscape-4


Gabriela was a Chilean poet who received the Nobel Laureate for Literature in 1945. She was the first South American author to be so honored. This poet, diplomat, educator, and humanist was known for “her lyric poetry, which inspired by powerful emotions, made her a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world.”

from Wikipedia

Copyright 2018 by Kaye Fairweather



Is Silence Beautiful?


When I taught at a university, discovering that most of my students never experienced any periods of silence during their normal day appalled me. How could they function physically, much less think, with noise surrounding them all day long?  Did it affect their level of energy? Their ability to learn?

But they gladly shared their schedules with me and bragged of waking to the radio that had been on the entire night long, then watching television as they dressed and got ready for classes. And they learned to chat with friends with a background of music or broadcast programing going on all the time. Of course, once in class, they listened to the lecture, but traveling there always included the car radio or music from their smart phones through the wonder of earbuds.

Earbuds came to their rescue even in places that were supposed to be quiet, like the library. They never wanted to miss a chance to hear their current favorite music or radio chatter even when trying to understand some difficult material.

Silence in their daily lives could only be counted in minutes, not hours.


On the other hand, one of my favorite memories of my college years involved time spent silently looking out of my dorm room’s large windows, frequently around  the twilight hour. My heart and my mind exultantly raced with the many possibilities that lay before me, just waiting for my selection. The experience was both calming and exhilarating whether I sat alone, engrossed in my own thoughts, or my roommate joined me in idle chatter.

The view was of a small park just across the drive from the dormitory. I treasured quietly watching the change of seasons in the foliage and flowers during the two and half years that I lived there.

The only time in my life that remotely mirrored that of my students was a particular period of heartbreak when I was left betrayed and desolate, after losing companionship, social status, and financial support. For about a year I needed the constant distraction of other voices in my ears because silence allowed me to mull over the myriad personal problems that kept me from sleeping.

But for me, that was an aberration, not a way of life. I learned to turn corners,  win new battles, and seek different rewards. I found a different abundant life.

However, I still worry about my former students. While I hope their noise/music/chatter is no longer constant, I fear their lifestyle is even more widespread today and includes additional age and  socio-economic groups.

Copyright 2018 by Kaye Fairweather




Music, Beauty, Transcendence


Photo courtesy of Pexel

“Strange but true. We human beings are moved by music as no other animal is. Stranger still, it moves us rational animals apart from whether we can play it, read it, or even much understand it. Music reaches the passions without passing through the mind. Although some music calls forth enormous, in truth, life-long diligence from those who play it, those who have devoted no study whatever to listening to it are moved by it. As a consequence music is unique among human pursuits in being able to overcome the vast gulf between rare virtue and common aptitude. It is the most mathematical of the fine arts. It is science and fun together.”

Michael Platt,

“Physics without Ethics: The Brutality of Rock ‘n Roll,” Fidelity, July/August 1996

Science Is Beauty


Image courtesy of Pexel

“First of all, as we have already remarked, for science beauty is objective, ‘out there’. Among the mechanistic suppositions of previous generations was the idea that beauty is an inner attitude of the beholder rather than a property of the objective world. The awareness that the universe is stunningly beautiful wherever we turn out eye is now so much a conviction of our most productive scientists that objective grandeur is considered a warrant of truth.”

Thomas  Dubay, SM,  The Evidential Power of Beauty