Dance class has ended and everyone files out. With sore legs and feet, the ballerinas sit down to take off their sweaty, smelly pointe shoes. They untie the delicate ribbons and pull out their foot, practically wet from the sweat. As they take off their padding, blistered and bleeding toes are revealed. Some toes going one direction, some another but all are bright red. A horrible odor fills the room which turns the heads of parents and teachers.
Although the smell and look of a ballerina’s feet are awful, they are the foundation of the beauty that is ballet.
Let’s back up a little to the actual class.
The dancers line up and get ready for the combination. The music starts and with every lift of a leg, that foot is pointed and shaped beautifully like an arch. As they step onto one foot, the other leg lifts and they hold the pose. Their arms fly gracefully with each delicate step.
This beauty doesn’t come naturally. Dancers dance at least five days a week for two or more hours. Perfecting ballet takes a lot of hard work and there are always room for improvement.
We see models in magazines or on social media and think “Wow, they are so pretty and perfect!” but the photographer didn’t snap a picture and leave. They had to try multiple poses and different outfits, then an editor used photoshop to fix the “imperfections.”
Another common beautiful item is a flower. There are so many flowers of different shapes, sizes and colors. In order to get the beautiful flower, a gardner had to take a small seed and plant it in the ground. The seed needs sunlight, water and good soil that has plenty of nutrients to help it grow. Often times those nutrients come from manure which most people find smelly and disgusting. But there are good nutrients in that pile of horrible odors.
In Siddhartha the main character compares his life to a dress and when a dress becomes old and “gets stains, gets wrinkles, gets worn off at the seams, and starts to show threadbare spots here and there” that it loses its beauty. He says that when things get older, they fade and lose their beauty.
This isn’t always the case.
Consider again a flower, a rose for example.
The rose is a pretty pink color and full of life. The petals are large and plump. As time goes by, it begins to lose that life.
Now the petals are shriveled up and wrinkly. Some may think that that lost of life took away the beauty, but it has really only changed it. It is still beautiful, it just is a different kind of beauty.
Sometimes time make things more beautiful. Sometimes beauty takes a lot of hard and ugly work. Beauty can be seen in so many different ways; it’s impossible to compare it to one thing.