Published December 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel


I feel like taking a stroll through beauty this morning.  The word has gotten so  tarnished by sexual overtones that the topic has dropped out of serious consideration. Maybe I’m funny (yes, I know I am), but I can go back through–and enjoy, and relax, to memories of what I think of as beauty.  Maybe I’m just talking about memories that filled me up, like experiences of some beauty does.  I remember a dress in the ninth grade. It was of pin corduroy, and was something that might be called magenta and had wrap around buttons down to the waist with a little neck that poked up.  Whatever happened to soft pin corduroy, anyway?

Another memory is the figure of a Chinese lady with a parasol, one foot in the air as observed through a store window.  Perfect! If I hadn’t been poor I would have possessed it.

How can the sweet smell of the countryside after a rain be called beauty?  I don’t know, but it got inside me, too.

I’ve been reading The Ring Road, a poetic sequence, by Jonathan Aldrich, and it’s touching me inside.  Lovely with so many targets responding inside me.  You may think I’m talking about nothing, I don’t know.  It’s impossible really to know what others experience, but it’s a place inside that can be fed by its own sensitivity or some kind of thirst assuaged.  Because of how the word beauty has been abused, it seems to have been overlooked.

Oh–Aldrich just captured it:  our underwater life, p. 45.  And I’m on page 57 now:

Still there is only one

garden  for each of us

whose light falls perfectly.

Although this garden slips

away it is not forgotten.

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