On Beauty

Many times I remembered the words my Lamba room mate once said to me: You have a very deep sense of beauty.

I encountered quite some beauty over the last one or two years and I am fascinated by its facets – a plethora of impressions, touching the mind, finding its ways through my eyes, my ears, my fingers, my skin, my heart.

Depicting beauty is part of my motivation to do photography. But it is not about a perfect look. It is about finding the most beautiful in a person, about making something visible that is invisible for eye, but not for the heart. The most intense photographs do not show a beautiful woman or a beautiful man. They reveal a beautiful soul.
A beautiful soul does not need a perfect look. In fact, a perfect looking body and face can be nothing more than a façade, an empty shell. You might look at a beautiful person but you will not know a thing about them.
Sometimes it takes a lot of trust for a beautiful soul to be discovered. It is hidden behind walls and façades that protect it. This beauty is not perfect. It is vulnerable and it is to be treated with the utmost compassion and deference. Vulnerability can be a most beautiful thing, for it is honest and pure.  It is not presented in a showcase or a cover picture, it needs to be discovered. A beautiful soul can try to hide. But if you catch it in a surprise moment, it might come out as pure as it is.
It might be a simple smile, a short greeting across the street, a texted word, a gentle touch. Things you will never be able to catch and hold on to in a physical way. The only place to keep them is the heart.

I find it challenging, delightful, and lovely to try to depict the beauty of the soul, to make it visible. But beauty is not only perceived with the eyes. I can discover beauty in a piece of music, tender and soft or loud and thrilling. Beautiful music caresses the soul, it evokes emotions to dive into, it renders words redundant. Nature’s beauty can touch my heart by a breath of spring air, by a sunray warming the skin, by the innumerable little and huge scenes nature has created over decades, centuries, and  millenniums. And also human beauty can get me carried away in so many ways – a nude body, the sensation of skin, of warmth, a profound conversation, a sign of affection, the right word at the right time, a sight behind all walls, a sight of a person’s vulnerability, their strength, their ability to love.

Beauty is not tangible, it can never be preserved in its whole purity. It is an emotion, an emotion to be attentive for, to live from when it is there. And it evokes humility.

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