Posted by: okathleen | October 28, 2008

Catch sight of the beautiful

Today my car pings at me that the outside temperature is 2 degrees.

 My son has just sent me a photograph of the snowflakes slithering around his window on the eighth floor of a tower block in West London.

 My daughter has spent the last afternoon of her October half term carving RIP into a pumpkin. Pumpkins are scarce this year – global warming. Snow in London? Global warming.

 

My nose is scarlet and sore. I burnt it on Sunday in Majorca. Unseasonal heat, temperatures in the late 20’s? Global warming. Nature out of sorts? Out of sync?

I mention this as I mull over the implications that aesthetic understanding might intute unity between man and nature. Last week the Government published a report about our mental capital and well being –

http://www.foresight.gov.uk/Mental%20Capital/Mental_capital_&_wellbeing_Exec_Sum.pdf

Subtitled, making the most of ourselves in the 21st century. The following findings from the report were pounced on by the press:

 

“Five ways to mental wellbeing

In addition, the Project has commissioned work to identify the wellbeing equivalent

of “five fruit and vegetables a day”. The suggestions for individual action, based on an

extensive review of the evidence are:

1.

 

 

Connect…

With the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues

and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of

these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them.

Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.

2. 

Be active…

 

 

Go for a walk or run. Step outside. Cycle. Play a game. Garden.

Dance. Exercising makes you feel good. Most importantly, discover a

physical activity you enjoy and that suits your level of mobility and fitness.

3.

 

 

 Take notice…

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the

unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are

walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world

around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will

help you appreciate what matters to you.

4.

Keep learning…

 

 

Try something new. Rediscover an old interest. Sign up for

that course. Take on a different responsibility at work. Fix a bike. Learn to

play an instrument or how to cook your favourite food. Set a challenge you

enjoy achieving. Learning new things will make you more confident as well

as being fun.

5.

Give …

 

 

Do something nice for a friend, or a stranger. Thank someone. Smile.”

 

Number 3 was the item which made me sit up:

Take notice…

 

Be curious. Catch sight of the beautiful. Remark on the

unusual. Notice the changing seasons. Savour the moment, whether you are

walking to work, eating lunch or talking to friends. Be aware of the world

around you and what you are feeling. Reflecting on your experiences will

help you appreciate what matters to you.

‘Catch sight of the beautiful’. ‘Catch sight of the beautiful’. ‘Catch sight of the beautiful’.

Aesthetic understanding by way of Government edict.

 

More tomorrow, after I attempt to catch sight of the beautiful, which may be difficult as I leave the house at 7am in total darkness and join three lanes of total gridlock on the motorway. However, undaunted, I shall try to imagine I am leaning against a haystack, in the gloaming of a tangerine sunset, watching swallows swoop over a gurgling stream. I shall also try not to be too cynical. The government office for Science AND the Arts Council are telling me that, catch sight of the beautiful, and all is right with the world….

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. I areally love your photo of Piccadilly Circus in the snow!


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