Why does beauty matter? (Sentiment alert here--if warmth make you uncomfortable, read no further.)
Why do we put so much work into gardens to grow beauty? While some would say the answer is self-evident, and others say that it is a matter of taste, or making something special or evolutionary tactics, I would like to imagine another possibility, one at the core of human experience.
You are born. If you are lucky, you are born to people who love you right from the start. It has nothing to do with anything you have done; it is pure gift. And these people who love you and who you come to love, take care of you, meet your needs and often even your wants. Theirs are the faces you associate with care and love. Their faces are beautiful to you.
When you are a bit older you may notice that some of your friends have more pleasing faces than you initially thought. I remember talking to my Mom as a teenager about fixing up a female friend with a male acquaintance. My Mom thought I was greatly over-evaluating my friend's attractiveness. I had no idea what she was talking about. Anyone with eyes could see that my friend was a beauty.
Love sheds light around people you love, places you love, almost anything you love. Love makes the stuff of life beautiful, whether there is beauty in it to begin with or not.
So--is it possible that this connection, hardwired into our brains--sometimes works backward? That when we see beauty we feel loved? But are not aware that we are working backwards, from where the warm feeling is coming?
Then -- does this influences us to make beautiful things? To need beauty around us the way we need love?
Love, that thing money can't buy, is a problem for consumerism. We can be sold stuff that ties in with love --but not the thing itself. We can be sold beauty. We are every day. Yet there are people who will tell you that art is more than an investment, that music moves your soul and that beauty somehow matters more than the money that may buy it.