Beautiful by accident

When I think about the most beautiful things in the world, I’m struck by how unintentional they are. For example, people aren’t at their most perfect when they’re trying to be their best, like at a wedding. No. A man or woman is most beautiful when he or she is doing the most ordinary of tasks in the absence of self-consciousness and artifice. Children are at their most graceful when they’re mindlessly allowing their wonder to spill onto the world, not when they’re dressed up and doing something just to impress an adult or another child.

When I think about the most awe-inducing books, I’m confident that they were conceived by accident. Sure, the conception was brought into reality with great dedication and earnest effort from the author, but the original vision came from somewhere unknown and unknowable. Its appearance was accidental.

Meticulously crafted gardens are jaw-dropping. But they’re never as beautiful as the collision of elements and life found in nature. In my mind, a hillside studded with trees, being whipped by wind and warmed by sun is far more beautiful than the neatest human arrangement of grass, flowers and paths.

All and anything that is beautiful is created by accident, without awareness. Sure, there are those who are so talented, so masterful that they can create something akin to beauty. But it is never truly pure, never truly the same. It is always an affectation, a superiorly camouflaged, self-conscious performance. To me, the purest beauty is that which is unintended.