Where Beauty Lives

One of us was completely out of our comfort zone.  The other was completely in it.   There are occasions, however, when I’m asked to send media photos to accompany my articles, and as I was also upgrading the website to accommodate a new online study, there I found myself at the mercy of a photographer.

A chat and a cup of tea later, I had started to both cool down and heat up.  “Don’t worry, I’m just testing the light”, he said, pointing the lens directly at me – but we both knew he wasn’t. 

What was most interesting about the photo shoot, is that I thought I would be asked to stand in front of huge hot lights, when in fact the opposite was true.  I stood by a window in low light in the last hours of a wet and cloudy winter’s day.  The sort of time in an afternoon when anyone would put the kitchen light on, but he didn’t.  All that was there was a whiteboard to reflect the light.

He and I live in different worlds.  I spend my life helping people find beauty on the inside.  He spends his life helping people find beauty on the out. But in the dim light of a loft studio, I realised we had something in common.  We both illuminate natural light in the darkness in which others can find the beauty in themselves that lives there.

Beauty is not an idealised material form but a realised interior calm, where our less beautiful inferiorities and vulnerabilities are only truly resolved when we find the courage to embrace them.  The white light, whether on a board or in the mind, reflects all the colours of the spectrum, but freedom is found not always in our brightest aspects, but in our negotiating with the misperceptions of the shadows of ourselves.  That’s where beauty really lives. It’s a place where all parts of us unite in congruent harmony.

I looked at the stunning photographs in his portfolio but it crossed my mind that beauty on the outside fades in time, when beauty on the inside exists in unchangeable eternity. Sometimes we just need someone else to see it for us.  His skill as a photographer was undoubted but when it comes to lens and reflections … let’s just say we are both rather good with mirrors.

All good things,
Carole Sawo


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