“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” quote by Shug Avery from The Color Purple by Alice Walker
When I read The Color Purple many years ago as part of a college course, and came across the above quote, I experienced my own little epiphany about art, beauty, spirituality, nature. The quote gave voice to my personal beliefs about our appreciation of the aesthetics of the natural world being an homage to that which is greater than ourselves, but at the same time internalized within us.
Every individual has a transcendent aesthetic sense, the ability to appreciate and honor beauty, whatever makes them stop in their tracks to admire that stunning and amazing thing that is outside of them, but inside themselves just the same. It can come in the form of a double rainbow, the crashing sound of a spring waterfall, a sparkly rock from the shore, the inviting softness of a favorite pet, a freshly picked blueberry just picked warmed by the sun. The list of beautiful possibilities is fathomless, of course, and is as diverse and individual as we are, ranging from the everyday to the rare.
The capacity to behold and be affected by beauty is shared by us all. How we internalize the experience and then interpret it is the artistic endeavor. Artists, whether visual, musical, literary, theatrical, work to reflect and recreate their beautiful experiences through their art. The act of creating is important and necessary to the artist; there’s a need to throw down that color onto paper, write those words, sing that song. In turn, artists create their own beautiful mark for humanity to admire and be inspired by, bringing around the cycle of admiration and reflection to a wonderful elegance.