Sense of Beauty (‘Numbers’ short story collection)

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I like to listen to the sound of the rain running from the clouds to the concrete. I watch the raindrops race from the top of the window to the bottom, I cheer on a chosen drop to reach the bottom first and watch as it joins with other drops forming into a puddle on the windowsill. I like walking in the darkness of the night as the heavens open the gates and the floods tear through the air, washing away the day. I enjoy listening to the sound of punching letters on a typewriter. I wish I lived in a time when typewriters were invented. I adore the sound of drumming keys on a piano, starting in pianissimo and moving to the more passionate sounds of fortissimo, striking my chest with emotion. I like the sound of silence; I find it soothing and safe. These sounds are like melodies that fill my bones with ambiance. These sounds make me feel harmony, affection, contentment and melancholy all at once. My feelings are ambiguous. I don’t understand myself, and neither do you.

I like the smell of freshly cut grass in early morning spring. I like the smell of petrol. I like the smell of the perfume on her neck, it’s sweet and I can taste it on my tongue like strawberries and cream in the summer. I don’t much appreciate the taste of coffee but I like the smell wafting through the kitchen. I like the smell of clean sheets. These smells are like sonnets that fill my heart with reassurance. These smells make me feel renewed and transformed, yet solitary and alone. My moods are equivocal. I can’t comprehend my own mind, and neither can you.

I like the touch of warm water pouring over my cool, tired and worn out skin after a long day. I love the touch of a big bear hug when I’ve had a hard time and need some support. I like the touch of laughter growing from the core of my being into an exploding sound of joy. I like the touch of the breeze whooshing through my hair. I like the touch of the waves lapping against my toes while my feet slowly sink in the sand. These touches make me feel my own existence; they convince me of my own realness but confuse me on how truly ‘real’ any of us are. If I can feel it, it must be real. But sometimes I have dreams that are so realistic that I can feel. How am I to know what is real and what is not?

I like the taste of liquorish. Most people I know hate it but I like it because it’s sweet yet bitter, and there’s an aftertaste that lasts but it stains my mouth. I like the taste of cherry lip balm on her kisses. I like the taste of freedom when I finish work for the day. I like the taste of mint freshness after cleaning my teeth. These tastes make me feel joyful and alive, yet a little taste always makes me crave more. It’s never enough is it?

I like the sight of a dark ominous sky with rolling clouds. I think its menacing appearance is beautiful. I like the sight of walls covered in graffiti, it’s like a battle of artists trying to get their name visible. I like the sight of weeds growing through the cracks in the pavement; it makes me think nature is fighting back for what we took away. I like the sight of people running away from the pigeons. I like the sight of someone smile by themselves while reading a text on their phone. There’s beauty even in the bad, and there’s bad even in the beauty. What we choose to see is up to us.

I have 5 senses; some people may only have 4 or even 3. Some people might think they even have a sixth sense. There are many things both pleasing and displeasing to my senses, and our opinions based on our senses are subjective. What one person sees as art, another will see it as an eyesore. What one being thinks is a taste sensation, may taste of dirt to someone else. What one person believes feels amazing to them will be horribly uncomfortable for someone different. What one individual thinks sounds pleasant, another will find it to make their ears bleed. What one character finds to be a delightful smell, another might find it to be a disgusting pong. We all experience the world differently and perceive it in dissimilar ways. We live a unique and colourful existence filled with beauty, which some may recognize and others may not. If you asked me to define beauty, I would tell you that it couldn’t be. You ought to define it for yourself. The world itself is the definition of beauty in my mind and whether you agree or not, is up to your own senses. 5 senses. 5 ways to experience the world. 5 ways to discover beauty. Use them.

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