Ann and I took the convertible tonight with our friends Nick and Krista. The stars shone on us as we drove to see Snow White and the Huntsman. In the movie Charlize Theron does a great job as the evil queen, Ravenna, who seeks to steal Snow White's heart from her. At one point Ravenna says,
Do you hear that? It's the sound of battles fought and lives lost. It once pained me to know that I am the cause of such despair. But now their cries give me strength. Beauty is my power.
When we seek to control beauty for our own gain we've missed the point. Snow White has a certain wonder and delight as she relishes the beauty present in the land of the fairies. She doesn't seek to own it and harness it. She seeks, rather to enjoy it.
What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, But we want so much more--something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.
Snow White became part of the beauty. As she walked through the turtles, and birds, and fairies she soaked in and then radiated beauty. In turn she blessed those around her.