“Humankind’s thirst for beauty is not new. Historian J.H. Plumb described the Renaissance era as the pursuit of beauty ‘as if it were a drug’. Everyone wanted to adorn their abodes, the places they frequented, even themselves in sunlight gold, silver, bronze, silks, rubies and emeralds. A quest for beauty was the common denominator. Beauty made people feel good. It elevated the soul. It brought craftsmanship in painting and architecture to new heights of appreciation.
To Michelangelo, who grew up in Florence during the high Renaissance to become one of the most acclaimed artistic geniuses in the history of the world, beauty was sacred. Beauty was how God communicated to man, and thus Michelangelo portrayed the exquisite beauty of the human body–with all of its details, curves, and musculature. His famous Pieta’ (image above) can awe you as deeply as his frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
This belief in the sacredness of visible beauty served as a testimony of how it can transform us. A simple, yet powerful moment can be experienced when we pause to drink in the colors of a painting, the graceful lines of a sculpture, the delicateness of a field of wildflowers.” 1
When you are rebuilding your life after loss or adversity, plant as many of these healing moments of beauty into your surroundings. Don’t just fast walk, but pause to inhale the fragrance of a fresh spring lilac. Don’t just drive by a lake or ocean, but sit before it and feel the energy of the sound of the waves, the sparkle of the sun reflecting on its peaks. Don’t let the birdsong go unnoticed, but instead drink it in as if it were the music of life.
The healing power of beauty sustains and enriches our lives. It uplifts us and gives us the energy to go on and be all that WE can be. Surround yourself with some form of simple beauty each and every day.
1. Mautner, R. (2013) “Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy” HCI Books.