On Beauty

When I was at university back in Denmark, I'd walk across the Amager Common from my student halls to the faculty. I'd pass by a huge rose bush with beautiful yellow roses, D.H. Lawrence's Gloire de Dijon echoing through my head. The roses have long gone, thanks to urban development, but the memory of their beauty remain. Beauty continues to matter to me. Throughout my life I have discovered beauty and savoured it. Poetry, art, rock formations, landscape, things people have said, music, colours and textures. I mentioned poetry first, not only because it epitomises and distils beauty and I experience the world through words, but also because the etymological root of 'poetry' is the Greek ποιητης - poïêtes which means 'artisan, creator, maker' (you still find that in the Scottish term 'makar'). Beauty is poetry is creation. And this brings me to a new way of experiencing beauty that I have only recently discovered.

I am currently finishing a lovely red cardigan and I find myself getting lost in its beauty. The stitches are slightly uneven and the buttons are a touch wonky, but it is beautiful. I work with wool which is clearly the product of a sheep's fleece, the colour is stunning and I already have beautiful memories* tied to making the cardigan.

And then I happened across this blog entry which says it so much better than I ever could:

People talk about friendship and community and getting back to the roots of handcraft when they reference [craft] blogging as a movement, but there's something else about this craft movement that I think is really special and I haven't seen folks talking about, and that's beauty. Redefining beauty. Taking beauty BACK from the magazines and the movies and the Botox parties and the red carpet. Taking it back into our own hands.

I have always seemed able to capture beauty, but I had no idea that I could get caught up in its creation too. It is a wonderful, empowering sensation.

* Mags, a good friend now living in London, unexpectedly showed up in Glasgow yesterday whilst I was finishing one sleeve. I will think of her every time I wear this cardigan.

PS. This all links back to ideas I have about feminism, craft and knitting groups, of course.