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On Beauty July 25, 2011

Posted by Jeff in Uncategorized.

I firmly believe that happiness is something that is made, not just something that happens. It’s there, to be sure, but one has to look for it, manufacture it, find it sometimes in the smallest places. And when I find it, I like to share it with others.

One of the ways I create happiness, for myself and for others, is to seek constantly for beauty. And like happiness, beauty is found in so many things, and places, and events. It’s found in a finely turned phrase, or a particular arrangement of musical notes, or the line of a cloud. It can be found when form and function combine to produce perfect grace.

And such is the case when I consider my cat. Lithe, soft, powerful, sharp of claw and lethal of fang. So domesticated, and yet so close to the wild. I marvel at the engineering of evolution, to have produced such a predatory perfection, all parts flowing together to perform a single function. As I play with her, she redefines the meaning of total focus: all senses alert, eartips quivering with restrained energy, eyes ablaze. Her talons curve out unconsciously to still her prey (my finger!), the fearsome, brilliant white daggers of her fangs to deliver the coup de grâce. And as I stroke her, her eyes half-closed in bliss, she begins to rumble, a buzzing pleasure that permeates her body and radiates all around her.

Fiercely independent, she unapologetically tolerates nothing that isn’t on her terms, and that is part of her endearing qualities. To know that she would thrive perfectly well without me, yet chooses to be at my side, makes hers a special companionship. And there’s that thrill of the always-present predatory nature – as a wit once observed, “A cat is the only pet that, if she were but half my size, would eat me.” And all the while, again unapologetically and on her terms – it’s what she’s designed for. And she executes that function with perfect grace and beauty.

I like horses too.



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