Last night I attended a wedding. The reception was held in an old house with the most lovely courtyard. I sat with friends under a hazy moon, surrounded by latern-lit flower beds while “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” floated through the jasmine scented air.
This afternoon, Sam, Debi and I took advantage of the perfect afternoon and walked through the streets of the residential section south of broad. I usually walk down streets I have seen a million times, and I am always taken with something new. But today, we chanced upon some new streets. There was something about the way the sun shone through the gates and the wisteria rambled along rod iron fences, and I was smitten by my city all over again.
As I said before, beauty intrinsically gives birth to desire. We don’t look at a beautiful courtyard and walk away unaffected. We want to be in the midst of it, able to absorb all that it has hidden for those who have a key to the gate. Something about beauty produces a desire to have some sort of ownership over the particular object, even if only by means of a well taken photograph.
I think the most obvious residue of beauty is the need to share it with someone. And by “someone” I mean the type of person with whom it would be appropriate to hold hands. Why isn’t it satisfying to share beauty with a dearly adored friend? Is it that beauty is unavoidably tied to romance? Or is it that beauty awakens the heart to more than just itself?
Oh, the bitter sweetness of an awakened yet unengaged heart.
On a slightly less sappy note: In light of the Courtyards in Charleston are the horticultural equivalence to sexual tension post, Sam said, “We’re gonna need a cigarette after this walk.”