FQ TOPIC: Beauty

FQ1: Where's the most beautiful place you've ever been? What made it beautiful to you?

I've been sitting here debating between the coral reefs in Fiji and the coastline of Taranaki.

One one hand, the coral reefs in Fiji are undeniably beautiful. Snorkling there yields wonderful visuals of fish and colour that no film can capture. I was amazed when i went to Fiji how photos I had seen of it (which showed the Islands to be tropical and beautiful) paled in comparison to the real thing. And that's saying something because those travel brochures don't exactly slouch when it comes to showing their resorts in the best light. And when does that ever happen these days? it's usually the other way around - there is no disappointment in Fiji. But getting out into the water's where it's at - and I can't think of anything more colourfully beautiful than the reefs and fish I saw when snorkling.

And this is the bit where you decide I'm nuts I think - because the Taranaki coastline has actually won in my brain for "most beautiful", especially in the winter. What I love is the feeling of isolation you can have there when you're not isolated at all. The beach I am thinking of is strewn with boulders worn smooth by the rivers that have taken them there. Finding a place to sit amongst the rocks, one under me and one at my back - a break from the wind. The waves crashing against the rocky shore. The rocks, the shoreline, the waves, the sky - painting bands of grey on grey until the colours start to change as the sun gets low, then lower, then dips into the ocean. Watching the sunset take the light away from the beach and leaving the warmth in the rocks.

That's beautiful.

FQ2: Who's the most beautiful person you can think of? What makes them beautiful to you?

The most beautiful person I can think of has the smoothest skin. My fingertips glide over his skin and it's silky warm. Especially his face - his cheekbones and brow. Fingertips over his uncomplicated, perfect eyebrows that make his eyes close and cause him to sigh. He has the most expressive mouth with the most wonderful smile I can hear in his voice and see in his eyes. His arms are long, and his legs straight. He has beautifully large hands - strong and gentle at the same time. He smells devine. Nuzzling against his soft skin and breathing him in is what heaven must be like. I could live the rest of my life in the curve where his neck meets his shoulder.

He is beautiful because people love him. He is beautiful to me because he lets me be one of them.

FQ3: What's the most beautiful object you've ever looked at? What makes it beautiful?

I see beautiful things every day. The constrast between the golden leaves of the tree outside by window against the brilliant blue of the sky. The way the blinds in my lounge slice up the image of outside into long horizontal slivers of colour. The glowing whiteness of the yachts on the river as the heavy thunderclouds hang in the sky above. The way peoples faces move and change as they speak. The subtle shadows on your face that define your nose.

But a thing.. one thing.. one thing that I find beautiful to answer this question. I know what I want to show you but I don't have the right words and/or internet links to give a proper answer. And I'm not even sure where I saw it - was it at the V&A in London? was it at the British Museum? was it at Te Papa? Wherever it was, it was a Samurai Warriors armour. His kit, his gear. The layers of textures; of leather and metal and cloth. the earthy worn tones of a suit worn and used. The segmented parts that allowed for greatest movement and some protection. And his sword.. his beautiful sword. Besides the wonderful carving and simple detailed decoration of it's hilt and handle's leather weave - the utter beauty of the folded metal. The waves of subtle greys repeated along it's length showing where the swordsmith has hammered and folded and crafted the sword. thousands of hours of work to temper the metal into this magnificent thing.

I can't describe it - I don't have the knowledge or the words or the ability to. Your eyes need to find such a thing and soak it up and store it away.

FQ LIST: Tell us ten more beautiful things! When you think of "beauty," what one thing comes to mind for the following words:
music: Street Spirit - Radiohead
movie: Hero
book: Large, glossy, expensive Atlas.
meal: heapings of fresh brightly coloured stir fried vegetables on noodles
gemstone: Aquamarine
flower: white lilies on green stalks
web site: Switch Interactive
artwork: paintings by toulouse lautrec (esp. this, and very this)
appliance: espresso coffee machines
animal: my cat, Mouse.