Pleasing the senses, tormenting the soul

Your instinctive response...
(Copyright): Wikipedia - Svampen

... the need to own it ...

... how to soak it in?
(Copyright): Wikipedia - Maksim

No, this is not a masturbation on definitions of prettiness, attraction or art. I ask "sideways": How do you deal with beauty? How do you process it? How do you respond to it? How do you take it in? How do you "have it"? How do you cope with the urge to "do something about" the awesome moment you are experiencing?

Regardless of what moves your heart, what you find beautiful - amazing night sky, adorable fluffy critter, eye-food, show-off car, irresistible (wo)man - I ask about how it feels. Those belly butterflies that it causes. Where are they located? Is it pleasure, pain, both, something else? Does the feeling grow, persist, evaporate or rot? Can it poison you, can it revive you? What is its course of action?

An expression I often use is: "it asks you to act". Whether you interpret it as "to do something (about it, with it, for it)", to get more of it, to give more of it, to make more of it, to multiply it, to eternalize it. To share it. In a conversation with a friend/mentor long time ago, he named it as an act of "confirmation of beauty". Beauty grasped not just as something that humans feel, but something that moves them, in all senses of the word.

There is quite a bunch of coping rituals. Take a "beautiful sunset" situation... Perhaps it makes you long to hold someone's hand. You want to point a finger and say to someone "look! pretty, isn't it?!" - and get the confirmation back. Than we say that "we share the beauty". But, what can you do on your own? Some sing, some play music, some paint, or write, or raise a cairn. To remember it, to make the beauty last, to make it more splendid, to add something of yours to it, to just make more of it in the world, to report on having witnessed it. Some of us feel the twitch in fingers and want to take instant picture of it. Some celebrate it with food, picnic, or even a full-scale feast. Some light a cigarette. It's sometimes hard to say when the confirmation rituals change from an art to an obsession to an addiction - et vice versa.

That says a lot on addictions in particular. I can't talk drugs or tobacco, I can remotely relate to alcohol (glass of wine with lunch in social context), but I know the sugar/food addiction quite well, I admit serious social dependence (friends, belonging, sharing, approval), I boast with my writing obsession, I am sometimes ashamed of control/submission-wrestling with porn (not always winning). Do you smokers ever feel, when lighting a cigarette, that you are perhaps executing your beauty-of-the-moment ritual? Taking it in, adding (addition / addiction) to it, claiming it, owning it, holding it, intensifying it?

I understand that there are lot of more and less scientific theories. :) But, how does your life, daily rituals, habits - look in this particular perspective? Where's our education on beauty - particularly coping with it? Family, schools and other institutions teach us almost all out life - how to fix things, heal thing, compute things, analyze things, earn things - but ... how to withstand being happy? How to survive being blessed by the grace of beauty? Alone. Lonely. On our own. For us. By us.

What do you do when you walk through surrounding wonders – and there’s no one to enjoy it with? Walk faster, shake-off, take sarcastic distance? How do we ask for company to share the moment? How do we respond to such invitations from others? How do we accept beauty or reject it without compulsory cool/invincible/stoic face? How do we grant ourselves vulnerability and sensitivity to be touched by beauty full scale, full power, full pain – while seen by the others - without intellectual pose of diminishing it, kytsch-ify-ing it, relativizing it, rationalizing it, dismissing it with "more important things"?

I believe that Beauty (nowadays a concept almost kytschy to even mention in serious debate), particularly a lack of skill how to process happiness, wonder, being touched by divine - has potential to say more on key topics like addiction, consumerism, living on behalf, vicious circles of toxic lifestyle and deep dissatisfaction - than many "serious" define/battle/win/fix approaches employed by some professionals.

I realize this quite intensely with lovers. The action-man habit compels us "to do". Take it in hands. Consume the beauty with self-gratification or penetration. We need to do something about it, we don’t know how, we use the standard procedures. So many guys respond to the attraction with instant switch to "let’s do it" mode. Execution, performance, reaching the goal. Even I find it tricky to pause, be with the beauty (not to do upon beauty), take it in, explore it, touch it with different senses, not consume it but let it work through its soul-job.