Pure Meaningless Beauty?

Ciao Amalfi Coast Travel Sunset Ravello

This doesn’t even begin to capture just how beautiful this sunset on a clear June evening really looked or felt. But, it comes close. The sunsets have been lovely the past few weeks, so quietly beautiful. When I see the colors of the sunset so distinctly running in lines across the horizon, it reminds me of a book called How to Use Your Eyes, which I read years and years ago by James Elkins, a writer and professor of Art History at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. There’s a chapter dedicated to the colors of the sunset, earth shadows and twilight that points out all the curious and remarkable things taking place in each beautiful sunset we see. Here’s what Elkins writes:

“Even the colors of sunset, so famous because they are nothing but pure meaningless beauty, can say a great deal about the Earth, the sun, and the path of the sun’s light through the air. And it’s also a wonderful way to spend the evening – looking into the air and trying to find invisible boundaries between colors that mutate slowly and continuously into one another, blending imperceptibly and growing imperceptibly darker.”

In the midst of busy schedules and crazy days, the sunset is one of the ways that nature slows me down to a halt. Colors, in themselves not meaning one thing or another, have the power to evoke such intense emotional responses. Every day nature puts on a show, but it’s up to us to see the beauty and make the meaning.