Concepts of Beauty and Elegance

I also thought it might be worth to introduce a few concepts of beauty and elegance, just so it would be possible to spend a fraction of that time (that time that we spend doing nothing, or maybe… maybe, not doing nothing, but say, looking out of the window at the clouds passing by) understanding what makes that cloud, passing by, worth looking at.

  • miyabi: aspects of beauty that only a highly refined taste could appreciate (the pale shades of dye in a garment, the fragile geometry of a dew-laden spider web, the delicate petal of a purple lotus, the texture of the paper of a lover’s letter, paly yellow clouds trailing over a crimson sunset)
  • en: beauty that was more obvious and sprightly
  • aware: a pleasant emotion evoked unexpectedly (what one feels when one sees a cherry blossom or an autumn maple)
  • yugen: the foreboding of aware (at a brilliant sunset one’s mind feels aware, but as the shadows deepen and night birds cry, one’s soul feels yugen)
  • shibui: the studied restraint that might be described as knowing when to stop (in a sense, the absence of all that is not essential; a sense of disciplined strength deliberately held in check to make what is done seem effortless; the absence of the ornate and the explicit in favor of the sober and the suggestive)

These were the main concepts that I have managed to identify thus far; I am sure that there are many many more, but I felt like they would deserve their place over here, so they are here.

 Full disclosure: Explanations of the terms from Thomas Hoover’s ‘Zen Culture’

On Meanings, On Words

Wished to post a quote I saw today: “Life is grim on the galactic rim.” (Ian O’Neill).

So many meanings hidden behind these few words. Who decides which one to use?

O’Neill’s sentence is excellent. His main idea was that what closer you reach to the edge of a galaxy, the smaller are the chances of finding life due to the decreasing chances for the existence of planets.
However, one could also interpret the sentence simply as: ‘Life is difficult and hard if you live on the rim of a galaxy.’
And what would stop a person from figuring out a thousand other meanings?

Absolutely nothing.

There’s a saying in Estonian which goes as, “Sõnad on tuul.” [“Words are wind.”] I once expanded on that, and said to myself, “Sõnad on tuul… kuid tuul võib puhuda põhjast või lõunast, tuul võib olla tugev või nõrk.” [“Words are wind… but wind may blow from the north or the south, it may be a strong gust or a mild breeze.”]

In this age where words are more often and often interpreted through the (abomination of a) computer screen, what is the guarantee that anyone understand us as we wished to be understood. Unfortunately, nothing. Therefore, we should take the extra effort of expanding upon our thoughts if they are not the clearest.

Another factor comes to play here as well. There are occasions where a person would wish to be understood doubly. Diplomacy. [Either between states or people.] Not necessarily doublespeak, but where a single sentence can have a meaning which is both strong and mild, depending on what the other side does.

And while ‘The great questions of the day will not be settled by speeches and majority decisions, but by blood and iron.’ (Otto von Bismarck) it does not reduce the importance of being able to solve potential conflicts by words.

But… if our words are broadcast to others via a computer screen… is that not a failure to communicate no matter what the final result?


On Questions

Largely, I find that there are two types of questions, or at least that most questions can be divided by these types. You might now wonder what I suggest these types to be.

Firstly, before mentioning them, I will need to bring up one interesting thing: After reading Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’, I almost want to try other high modernist pieces. Perhaps even get down to writing one up myself. Though, I suppose that I’m too into my own style for imitating another to ever work. Then again, one can always try.

Now, to the questions; to the types that I have noticed for myself:

  • Type 1: There are always more answers to questions than there are questions. This is because there are always several ways in which one can answer a question, even leaving aside the differences of negative-positive answers (if not through direct facts then by connotation which always swings from one side to another).
  • Type 2: There are also questions which are unanswerable. I don’t mean the questions to which one does not know the answer, but those that by their very nature are unanswerable… You might say that a question can belong here when the answer is known before asking which makes responding unnecessary. Then again, that is not a clear definition for one to fall under this category. A better one would be including only the questions which have answers which cannot be safely worded without misunderstanding them. ——- Okay, just disregard this. I did have a meaning sometime, I suppose it was lost on the way. 😛

Nothing more to add at this moment. I did manage to think this entry out, but just as this night’s dream, I’ve forgotten it.

‘Shall we ever remember what we wished to forget?’
‘Shall we ever forget what we wished to remember?’
– ‘RSVP!’

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