Beauty’s Angst

As a way of coping with the intense annoyance of the attention you’re getting because of your ‘beautiful’ problem, and constantly having to consider others and their admirations and jealousies, which are no fault of your own—you choose to give in to your exasperation and blatantly enjoy the power regardless of the hurt this causes. Contempt now presents itself to you as a new weapon in your armoury (and you are building an armoury by the way), because these people who have been asking for it all along, deserve nothing less than to be scorned. They need to be taught a lesson, and the very idea of finding a solution via agape love, which is ‘slow to lose patience and looks for a way of being constructive,’* seems laughable. The trouble with this ‘get tough’ strategy is that people get offended and then become desperate and dangerous, which of course invites even more contempt from you.

This is a dangerous moment in the journey of a young human being who no longer feels or even remembers that they and their beauty came out of the heart of God. In their anger, they respond with either gut emotion or cold logic as a way of fixing the problem when the real solution lies in the soul (or the heart): that half-way place between the head and the gut. But if your family and your culture has also forgotten where it came from, how are you (the young and beautifully-burdened and frustrated person) going to find your way to that mysterious place of grace. CS Lewis metaphorically calls this middle place the ‘chest’, and says, ‘We make men (and women) without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.’1

* 1st Corinthians 13

1. CS Lewis The Abolition of Man