So over at Hey Look a Chicken yesterday, Billy Coffey did a post entitled Beautiful which I really encourage you to read.
He talks about trying to explain beauty to his daughter, and one of the lines : "She thinks everything is beautiful—sunrises, sunsets, and the puffy white seedlings atop dandelions come to mind—but she secretly fears she is not. I can understand. It’s hard to compete with sunrises, sunsets, and dandelions." reminded me of a scene I had written in one of my books. (As yet unpublished.)
In this moment, our hero is sitting at the beach with the FMC (female main character) watching a sunset. She is sharing about how she wishes she were beautiful, but she knows she isn't. She tells him how sick she is of hearing about inner beauty, because just once she would like to look into a mirror and see it. Main Character is in love with her, but can't think how to respond to this. He knows she has heard cliches all her life, and he can't just fob her off with "you are beautiful to me". He stares for a long time at the sunset, trying to think how to respond.
The scene is edited for ease of reading, and much of the action is left out.
"Sunsets are beautiful, aren't they. It's like God painted the sky with every colour he could find, and then designed a few more, just to surprise us."
"Do you know why I think sunsets are beautiful? It's not because they are perfect, or follow any rules of art or design. It's because when I look at the sunset.... when I'm sitting out here gazing at it..... I know there is nowhere else in the world I would rather be. Watching the colours dance in the sky, it makes me feel... "
"...it makes me feel like I am where I truly want to be, and nothing in creation could make me move from that spot or look anywhere else. They are beautiful, because I can see GOD shining through them, and know he is smiling at what he has created."
"When I look at you, when I look into your eyes, or see you smile.... There is nowhere else in the world I would rather be than standing there, listening to you, and watching you smile. And I feel I hear GOD telling me how lucky I am to be seeing this unique creation he prepared."
"So tell me that's not beauty, and tell me you're not beautiful, because if your mirror is telling you something different, then you are listening to the wrong people."
At which point she dumps a cup of coffee over his head and tells hims he's full of crap.
But I think he might be onto something there.