Voluptuous conjures up the image of Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Gina Lollabrigida. Marcel Proust in In Search for Lost Time added intelligence to voluptuous and created the phrase voluptuous intelligence. Since the moment I first laid eyes on this combination of words I fell deeply and hopelessly in love. What a divine concept, the reverence of the space within our skull, the repository of an unknown number of hopes, dreams and stories.
VI – very important, voluptuous intelligence, vamping ingenue (and in the modern world the beginning of an air freshener used to hide the fact that we’re humans with associated bodily functions) and six in Roman numerals. Voluptuous intelligence rolls off the tongue, lilting and turning, showing a flash of ankle here, a hint of skin there. How can we obtain this mystical charm? In my opinion, the journey to voluptuous intelligence is never ending. We can move towards the target by seeking both the beauty and the grotesque of the world and trying to understand them and our place in the world.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; I will not use this post to give you a 5 point plan on finding beauty – that would be an insult to your voluptuous intelligence. I can only share what I find beautiful and see if it sparks something in your brain and soul. Where do I find beauty in my world:
- my feet in crisp clear seawater and the sun beating down on my back;
- perfect notes hit by a tenor in a 19th Century aria; and
- National Trust properties and the feeling of history, of sharing space with those who have travelled this journey before us.
Surrounding myself with books and art allows the beauty of the world to visit me in my cosy hygge home.
Yin and Yang – opposites that give us a stronger whole. In order to have yang (beauty) we must face the world’s yin (the grotesque). Like beauty, the grotesque is a product of our social conditioning. To find the grotesque I look to the media – trauma, terrorism and terrible injustices.
When we seek the beauty and the grotesque and apply the filter of duality provided by Yin and Yang, we increase our empathy and do our part to make the world a better place. The individual pay off is that we move along on our never ending journey to fully aware voluptuous intelligence.
Until next time, namaste.