An appreciation of beauty.
There is a phrase that Ainan says a lot, particularly recently. Perhaps you might like to guess what it is? He uses this phrase to describe things in the world and he says it with a quiet reverence. I find its use most revealing of who Ainan actually is.
Please have a guess. It is the same phrase over and over again. He doesn't say it repeatedly, in a day, but I might hear it once or twice a week, when he encounters something that makes him react that way.
Have you made your guess? Well, the phrase is: "It's beautiful!". He says it with such quiet intensity, that I know, for sure, that he feels the beauty of what he is seeing. He says it spontaneously and not in response to a question.
I first noticed this, a few months ago, when he was reading about Circumzenithal Arcs and Circumhorizontal Arcs - which are both rainbow like atmospheric phenomena. He said: "It's beautiful!". I perked up at that, because it wasn't a scientific reaction to his reading, but an aesthetic one. Thereafter, of course, I started to pay more attention to whether or not he was responding aesthetically to things and I came to observe that such a response in him, was rather common. Ainan really appreciates beauty.
I find this interesting. It goes along well with the mathematicians and scientists of old, whom I have read referring to equations as "beautiful". They usually say this when something is clear, simple and effective. So perhaps they are actually responding to "elegance". Nevertheless, I find it tantalizing that Ainan should share an aesthetic appreciation of phenomena with these names (whose names elude me!) of old.
However, I should point out that Ainan's appreciation of beauty goes beyond that of the scientist's purview, into that of the artist. He notes as beautiful such things as the glint off a sword, in a picture, a building, or a car - and not just scientific phenomena. He is, therefore, responding to VISUAL beauty.
I wonder at this. Is there an artist in Ainan waiting to come out? Will he prove to be a more balanced type of creative individual - one both artist and scientist? This repeated phrase of his is a hint that he may very well become so - for he has a definite aesthetic response to the world and that, I propose, is one of the more powerful signs of a nascent artist: first comes the artistic appreciation of the world and then come the artistic creations. Without the appreciation of beauty, to begin with, there would be no drive to create artistically at all. There are other hints, too, in him...but I will leave those to other posts.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:
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