The odd thing is, true beauty is often unannounced. Awareness of it grows on you; seeps into your consciousness till the light and warmth it produces gives you an almost translucent glimpse of another way or dimension or something so intangible that we are only sense the fringes of it.
Recently we went to a charity dance. The tickets were £10.00 so not the grandest occasion. My partner had filled a table with people from her work some of whom I knew so that was alright.The speeches were short and the food was from a buffet so no stifling wait til the music started. I dance like one who has recently had the benefits of electric shock therapy, but that has never worried me and I just love the music. Others joined us and soon the floor was packed with jerking , hand-waving bodies with the occasional person showing a fluid sense of grace which shone brightly provoking the admiration of their fellow dancers.
Later my partner sidled up to me and said that the wife of Mr Big. some important cheese from her office , was wearing a necklace worth £50,000. I raised my eyebrows slightly. “How do you know it’s value” I asked. “He told me” she replied and I was forced to smile. The point is that faced with vanity nobody is that interested. It either causes embarrassment or initiates a period of barter. Someone else boasts that they have just come back from a five-star holiday in the Maldives. “Really” says Mr Big, and both realise that neither is that interested in the triumphs of the other but is unwilling to be outdone at the same time. As the evening wears on boasting gave way to revelry: the music, wine and fatigue worked their magic and Mr Big began to relax. With time his sense of self-importance slips away and he begins to feel accepted “This is an excellent evening” he proclaims. We all agree. The more human he becomes the more he is liked till his earlier burst of vanity provokes a baffled amusement but no hostility. The warmth he shares with us has cost him nothing.There is a conspiracy of goodwill and we have discovered companionship out of nowhere . It feels good to be alive.
At an earlier evening, at our home my partner had two couples over for a meal. Both the women worked with her and one of the couples had earlier become friends with me. The wife is a small round women but she has an air of great dignity and warmth. Her husband says little but is affable and also warm: they are a lovely couple. As the evening progresses she tells some story from her youth in Switzerland. Slowly, without comment or awareness, you can see the love and pride well out of this man as his wife talks. It shines out of him as she speaks. He is almost blushing with pride in her and nods his head lovingly as she recounts her tale, She has the confidence that comes from being a treasured being.
He seems quite unaware of himself as he listens to her words. Nothing could be more inspiring or more gentle than his gaze and the pride he reveals as she talks. No jewelry could make her more beautiful to him but only celebrate his feeling for her. Her tale is of a minor incident but told with a modesty and accuracy which holds her audience, She is a special person and within this most modest of men, drawn out by the magic of his feelings, an unannounced beauty makes it’s presence known. We were all the richer for witnessing it.