"Try to imagine working for the pure love of simply making something beautiful -- something that maybe can't be sold or used to help sell anything else, but that is simply a communication between man and man, a bond of understanding and human enlightenment [...]'
American poet Hart Crane wrote this in 1924 in a letter to his father, a confectionery entrepreneur and inventor of the Lifesaver candy.
This quote has been on my inspiration board for years. I read it often. Especially when people around me question my need to surround myself with things that I find aesthetically pleasing and also to encourage me to create "tiny nuggets of beauty" as I call them. A fallen branch found in the garden dip-dyed in gold paint suddenly becomes a desirable décor accessory. Just like that!
I work in the world of beauty. I am very fortunate. As editor-in-chief of the French edition of Salon Magazine, the top trade publication dedicated to the professional beauty industry in Canada, every day I get to choose arresting photos shot by the world's top photographers and pick the latest and best products that will make it into the pages of our print and online platforms. My work elates me. Because bringing beauty to the world simply elevates other peoples' spirits, too.
But beauty does not only happen in the salon, on a fashion runway or take the shape of a sublime makeup palette. Beauty is everywhere. If we only took the time to see it peeking at us from every corner, bringing gifts of incredible richness to feed our soul -- in molten orange sunsets, dancing leaves on a breezy afternoon, white cotton sheets dried in the sun that feel delicious after a day at the beach.
Too often, as we age, we lose the ability to be filled with awe by the most simple things that surround us, and seeing beauty in its pure state is slowly stripped of all its magic and replaced with doubt, fear and cynicism. It has to fit in a box, have meaning in the proper context and be absolutely practical, of course. Beauty is only perceived to be vital to our well-being if it's being showcased in a museum or is validated by corporate culture. Life loses its charm and our everyday world becomes gray. It's sad.
I once went on a retreat at Karmë Chöling, a Buddhist meditation centre in Vermont, where one of the teachers kept referring to the orchards outside, elegant table settings and immaculate hall in which we were seated as objects of massive enlightenment. Why? Because beauty has the capacity to stop you in your tracks. Makes the hamster wheel of mulling over one's problems pause. Just for a fleeting moment. But that's enough to bring a sense of sanity and serenity back into our life. Of letting your brain breathe, so to speak.
So go ahead, create your own beauty! Colour-coordinate your hangers to your clothes if you feel like it. When your roommate, husband or daughter start questioning your common sense, just tell them that when you open your closet, seeing all those pretty colours artfully arranged simply makes you feel good. It's as simple as that. And that's something beautiful anyone can relate to. Right?