Every week, my church has a lot of different mass times, but I go to the same mass every week because of one girl. She is a girl I casually refer to as church Barbie. I call her this because she is very blond, very pretty, very curvy, and very much an object in my eyes rather than a person.
After all, I don't know her. I have never had a conversation with her. I have in fact heard her say a total of 6 words, none of which were her name. She is just a pretty girl sitting in the next pew. For all I know, she is rude or mean or *shudder* a typical girl in her early 20's. I don't know.
I like to tell myself that she must be one of these shallow girls whom I've met so many times. Nothing is less attractive than the sense of entitlement that comes with being beautiful. I think back to high school sometimes to one girl in my class. She was gorgeous. I mean, wow, absolutely beautiful, but she was the worst person I had ever met. She was bitter and shallow and hollow. Interacting with her was sheer torture. It's like eating a chocolate truffle only to discover that it was full of vinegar and mustard.
So, I like to enjoy her from afar. That sounds far creepier than I mean it. What I mean to say is that I like to enjoy the beauty in the world, and I try not to question it. I try not to find the flaws and blemishes and cracks.
I used to go birding (aka bird watching) a lot when I was younger, and stargazing. I still go stargazing every now and then. I love to go to museums and wander through room after room of beautiful things that I cannot touch. I have sat for an hour in front of a painting of El Greco, soaking in the beauty of it. I walk through the woods and photograph things, trying to capture of beauty of it. I enjoy seeing beauty in the world.
Still, I know that there is another whole plane (as in plane of existence, not 747 plane) upon which beauty exists. I am just seeing the shadows on the walls of the cave, and am somehow content with that [blatant Plato's Republic reference]. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" is often credited as an aphorism but it simply isn't true. A bird in hand is worth far more than two in the bush, or ten, or two hundred, or even a million.
Because a bird through the binoculars is beautiful and wonderful, but it is not mine. I can only enjoy it from afar, like the Mona Lisa behind bulletproof glass. And that is the relationship I have with church Barbie.