Lois Brynes photo
What can we say of beauty? Perhaps that it is an awareness uniquely planted in people to temper our species' capacity to alter our environment. A conservative, cautionary, bonding element. It exists independently of art, and is only one of the qualities that art may choose to portray. Nature is bigger than art.
A few decades ago Slow Turtle of the Wampanoag Tribe gave a talk on Cape Ann with a dark outlook on modern life. I asked him what 'beauty' meant to him. He said "I see beauty wherever things are as God intended them." It was a satisfying answer, removed from logic, and comforting.
Art may also appear ironic, didactic, or angry. It may suggest non-aesthetic associations to the intellect, such as an Oriental cast to Lois's heron photograph.
Having rendered our green heron experiences in our particular ways we have exchanged gifts like emissaries taking up diplomatic posts at an exotic station.