I had to take my car to the shop the other day to get an estimate on some body work I need done (IMHO a little unnoticeable ding but to my husband, an embarrassing eyesore!) The estimator spent about 15 minutes explaining my options to me, waving his hands over the car as he did so. You could tell he enjoys his work. As I was pulling away, I noticed a tech getting ready to pull a wrecked car into the garage. And I wondered if he looked at that car as a kind of blank canvas, or ugly lump of clay, just waiting for him to draw out the beauty.
Later that week, I was in a meeting at work where several members of our accounting group were explaining some of their processes to our group of sales and customer service personnel. I swear I saw their eyes light up as they elaborated on what seemed to be tedious and mind-boggling procedures.
And that got me thinking, I wonder if everyone sees beauty in what they do, if they view their work as art. Or is that reserved for certain personality types?
For me, beauty emerges when things work together properly. When I can have a hand in that, all the better. When words line up as they should, to draw forth a picture of what is most true, that’s beautiful to me. When I’m cooking and ingredients come together just right, and flavors marry well, that’s beautiful to me. I don’t often find this in my day job, although occasionally, when I’m working on a big project that requires a lot of creative thinking to pull things together, I get a glimpse of beauty in a very odd sort of way. Back in the day, I used to do quite a bit of artwork – mostly calligraphy, sign lettering, some graphic design and a bit of watercolor and pen and ink work. That, although art and enjoyable, was not necessarily beauty to me. Why? It usually didn’t involve much creativity.
How important is beauty to you? How do YOU perceive beauty? Do you feel compelled to create beauty, or are you content to just enjoy it? I ask, mostly out of curiosity, wanting to get a glimpse of how others view work and life. Is your work beautiful or do you find it elsewhere? I’d love to hear your thoughts.