Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Do You Know the Muse-ic Man? March 10, 2013

I noticed something interesting about my blog posts this week: music is clearly one of my most reliable muses. It inspires me in ways that speak to my soul. So much of the music I enjoy is poetry that feeds my vocabulary set to brilliant chords and rhythms that spark my imagination. Six of the last eight of my blog posts incorporated music into either the title or the content. Let’s review:

1. Can’t Go Wrong, Phillip Phillips – I’ll take the best of what I can from my  mistakes/And now I know, now I  know I can’t go wrong, as long as I remember where I’m from/Hold  my head up just to keep it clear/I want a chance just to face my fear, face my fear

2. Listen To Your Heart, Roxette – Sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile. The precious moments are all lost in the tide, yea. They’re swept away and nothing is what it seems, the feeling of belonging to your dreams. Listen to your heart when he’s calling for you.

3. Forever Young, Rod Stewart – May the good lord be with you/Down every road you roam/And may sunshine and happiness/Surround you when you’re far from home/And may you grow to be proud/Dignified and true/And do unto others/As you’d have done to you/Be courageous and be brave/And in my heart you’ll always stay/Forever young, forever young Forever young, forever young

4. Fix You, Coldplay – When you try your best but you don’t succeed/When you get what you want but not what you need/When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep/Stuck in reverse/And the tears come streaming down your face/When you lose something you can’t replace/When you love someone but it goes to waste/Could it be worse?/Lights will guide you home/And ignite your bones/And I will try to fix you

5. Beautiful Day, U2

You’re on the road/But you’ve got no destination/You’re in the mud/In the maze of her imagination/It’s a beautiful day/Don’t let it get away/It’s a beautiful day

6. Brighter Than Sunshine, Aqualung

What a feeling in my soul/Love burns brighter than sunshine/Brighter than sunshine/Let the rain fall, I don’t care

Musing the Day Away

Bing defines muse as a verb as the action of thinking “about something in a deep and serious or dreamy and abstracted way,” according to Bing. While some prefer to do their deep thinking in silence, I do mine with the muse that is music.

 

Brighter Than Sunshine

French poet Victor Hugo once said “to love beauty is to see light.” I could use some light on this dreary Sunday afternoon, so I find myself exploring what beauty looks like to me. “Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them,” as fellow empiricist thinker David Hume put it.

I love Hume’s statement as it reflects my belief that beauty starts in the mind. It radiates from the soul. And it shines brightly in those who value inner beauty over glitz and glamour. So it might not come as that big a surprise that I am not a fan of the dog show world. Don’t get me wrong – they’re not all bad. But taken to the big stage that is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (and others like it), my disdain is threefold and I simply can’t try to understand it from their point of view.

Please bear in mind, this perspective comes from someone who would most definitely be considered a mutt in the outwardly analytical eyes of the Westminster judges. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “what kind of dog is that?” No one knows. The shows only pass judgment on what they consider to be “accepted breeds,” which I am most definitely not.

Moreover, the Westminster dropped Pedigree as one of its main sponsors after 24 years in 2012. The reason? Pedigree was running a campaign in support of helping shelter dogs (like me) find their forever homes. No. They say right on the Westminster web site they only want “the best of the best…Storied in its history, rich in its tradition, the Westminster’s Kennel Club famed annual dog show is unique, prestigious, and elegant for all concerned.”Just A Mutt with a Big Heart

Much like what the elegance of Hollywood has done to encourage the staggering statistics that accompany eating disorders among women, these shows measure beauty on an unreasonable scale. Dogs are being held to different more physically demanding standards than ever before. In some cases, the evolving physical guidelines are encouraging breeders to make changes that ultimately cause serious health problems. While judges are now seeking a more severe slope in the back of a German Shepherd, breeding to meet the standard is causing more hip dysplasia on an already common problem in that breed. Pug faces are deemed most anatomically correct the flatter they are, but the poor little dogs suffer from breathing problems as a result. Is it worth it?

I would much rather measure beauty in its purest form. “You are not your appearance, but does the rest of the world know that?” Sarah Ban Breathnach asks in Simple Abundance. How different the world would look if we all asked ourselves that question on a daily basis.

In my case, it would be a reminder that I actually love everything about my unique appearance and my (relatively) normal life in my loving forever home. Those Westminster judges might call me a mutt, but I’m okay with that because I am a believer in the power inner beauty can have on the outer world. Forget the glamorous dog shows. I don’t need a fancy ribbon or trophy to know when I see inner beauty, I see light brighter than sunshine.

Related Articles

http://www.care2.com/causes/the-westminster-dog-show-is-hurting-dogs.html

http://www.care2.com/causes/westminster-dog-show-rebuffs-shelter-dogs.html