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Nature is Rough around the Edges

Nature is rough around the edges. Oftentimes when we project or publish images for example in magazines and in various forms of media, a visage of perfection is portrayed by clever use of software and editing that allows one to completely remove all blemishes resulting in something being portrayed that is far removed from reality.

When all signs of wear and tear are removed we get the impression that things are cling-wrapped in a bubble of individualistic and isolated self-existence.

Another example is when an artist paints a beautiful nature scene of various trees and plants. When we examine the source of the artist's inspiration we can see that the artist in his appropriation of the nature scene, didn't include the leaves on the plants that have been shredded and browned by the elements, the dead stump leaning at an angle being devoured by fungi and angling closer and closer to the ground. The artist also didn't include the branch of the tree that has been snapped in half by a previous storm and is still hanging awkwardly by a thread to the rest of the branch like a partially decapitated limb.

When we can see that Nature is rough around the edges we acknowledge that perfection is already there because there is a certain kind of 'friction' at play that shows us that everything is interacting with everything else. The blemishes we see are the signs of this process and we honour things as they are as a whole.

But the artist's role is understandably to also to filter out the the rough edges frayed by the multitude of moment-to-moment interactions. People admiring works of Art are aware of this and thus can keenly admire the beauty skillfully distilled by the artist for their eyes to bathe in and consume such that one is imbued by this beauty itself.

Each Individual person is no different and day by day we can see where our rough edges are so that we may artfully give our best to the world because no matter what, we are in relationship with everything around us. How we respond to this is up to us and thus we can give shape and smooth out our movements and interactions - our own version of the beautiful painting!

Not so pretty?

This is the beauty of self-cultivation practices such as Daoist Qigong and Alchemy: One can find out for themselves: What is happening inside me, what is happening around me, how are the inside and outside interacting and what can I do about it?!

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