For me this is the most beautiful place on earth. I have truly taken on my blog name and meandered without much pre-planning (yes, I have a map and sought advice from a patient ranger), but I have left the paths open to instinct so that I can practice living in the moment. I have laughed out loud from my belly, cried big crocodile tears, skipped, plodded, traversed logs, hopped rocks and done an amazing amount of just sitting, and staring contemplatively. I have painted my beloved Half Dome from the view at Washburn Overlook and sat on a rock in the middle of Mirror Lake with my shoes off. All the while I was pondering beauty. What makes Yosemite appeal to my senses and millions of others united in this admiration? Normally we judge beauty, and human taste seems to vary from short to tall to dark and light, but here we are brought together, all on the same page. I cannot imagine someone descending into the Valley and not being awestruck. Everyone I see here seems to be walking with the same faraway, amazed look, necks craning up, or down from the heights. And I sigh with a deep breath, “AHHHH, finally we are connected by the beauty of nature, no judgments!” And then I round a corner of a path and discover graffiti carved into a fallen tree or scratched onto a beautiful granite rock face. I guess not everyone is struck by the beauty as much as I, or there would be NO WAY they could deface it.
Some trees are so symmetrical that they look like they have been lovingly trimmed by some giant bonsai artist in the sky and others are totally shaggy and unruly with no symmetry at all, natural beauties so to speak. I have seen this term “natural beauty” in film audition announcements. “Looking for a female, 30’s, natural beauty, not modelesque,” as if not everyone has natural beauty! What are they thinking? What a stupid reality that judges beauty based on a set of measurements. “The idea in our culture of body solely as sculpture is wrong. Body is not marble. That is not its purpose. Its purpose is to protect, contain, support, and fire the spirit and soul within it, to be a repository for memory, to fill us with feeling-that is the supreme psychic nourishment” (Women Who Run With the Wolves by Estes). The career I’ve chosen angers me when I see casting that judges a person’s skill by the way they look. Of course this is not just in the film and theater industry, it’s rampant everywhere. Society perpetuates this unnatural idea of beauty rather than encourage individuality within body type and realizing the beauty in each person. I want to be an unruly tree and embrace the whole of who I am today, shining in my completely natural beauty, it’s what we ALL have no matter how we are shaped.
Rock on, Lori. You inspire me.
Thank you, Bonnie, you share my sister’s name so we are kin in spirit.