I am afraid of Beauty!

I am afraid of Beauty.

Saw this in myself tonight.

The long legs tight in black

with the slim tall torso in loose cotton white

where my eyes did not stop but found instead

the sides of her face cradled by easy flowing black hair

falling like a spring rain and framing not one

but two beautiful eyes of coal filled with a light

that happened to open into my own

seeing deep into a human soul.

Time stopped for a moment of recognition

and then I ran—quick as I could look away and

she moved on past me down the row of empty folding chairs

five away from me and sat in a place of her own.

Then we each caught the other looking yet again

to see more of who we had seen—

as if daylight might reveal

something more ordinary

and again I turned my eyes,

in flight finding the solace

of one not wanting to intrude,

be impolite, perhaps be caught

again in my lust for the beautiful feminine

having previously burned myself and her too

maybe a few hundred times.

So here, tonight, yes

sitting naked in front of the

realization that I am afraid of beauty

and drawn, inexplicably, to look yet again

by the grace of a hunger

into the mirror.

What was so fascinating to me, as I caught myself experiencing what I recognized within as a ‘fear of beauty,’ was the myriad of ways in which I saw this playing out through my life. The fear of connecting with people (not just beautiful women), a fear of joy… a fear of living fully… and a fear of death too. For surely in death there is beauty as well.

Without it, after all, there would not be the beauty to be found in birth. And I write this as my own father lies on is death bed, so the intimacy of fear and beauty are close. We all have but one father to offer to the mystery even as we have but one life of our own to offer as well.

Surly in this offering is our own re-wilding, and our own redemption.

“In ourselves the universe is revealed to itself as we are revealed in the universe.” — Thomas Berry, The Great Work, pg. 32

Note, I suspect a case can be made that it was/is a fear of the wild fierce beauty of the natural world that drives man to destroy it. So it is that this masculine fear of the feminine plays itself out in large and ‘small’ ways.

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