Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Gutte Neshuma is a Beautiful Thing

This week's writing prompt:

Physical beauty.

It can open doors - and can also shut them.

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait.


Physical beauty?  As with my earlier posts about sloth and gluttony, I’d like to quote my grandmother on this one:  “Nu?  Who knows from this?”  Of course I know physical beauty (or at least what looks beautiful to me) when I see it, but, like the seven deadly sins, physical beauty—seeking it, possessing it and/or being impacted by it—never took a front-row seat in my life nor in the lives of my closest friends.

Sure, my grandfather always told me I was a shayna madel—a pretty girl—but beyond that, beauty and all its trappings wasn't really on my radar.  As a teen, I seldom primped at a vanity, rarely experimented with make-up, and didn’t even shave my legs for the first time until I was living in a college dorm.  My growing up years were all about working hard in school, burying my nose in a book (and who needs eye shadow or lip gloss to do that?!) and striving to be a gutte neshuma—a good soul—whose actions reflect and promote beauty and goodness in our world.

Today, not much has changed.  Although I now have a repertoire that includes the basics--moisturizer, blush and lipstick (on most days!)—I remain devoted to my work and my studies, spend as much time as possible with my nose buried in a book (or the newest mah jongg card!), and still aim, like so many others I know, to be a gutte neshuma, whose actions release small kernels of beauty and goodness, as well as sacred sparks into our crazy, complicated and convoluted universe.


Red Writing Hood is the writing meme of The Red Dress Club.  The finished piece should be no more than 600 words of either fiction or non-fiction.  Thanks for reading...and feel free to offer thoughts, ideas and/or constructive criticism.  I appreciate hearing what you have to say.