The Good Life: Realizing the Fascinating

I’ve been wondering, lately, about what’s required for certain things to be found fascinating; what it is certain objects, people, ideas possess that place them into the realm of the alluring, compelling and intriguing. Certainly, these terms are used too freely without true consideration of what exactly qualifies as delightful, enchanting or riveting, still, most of us will have experienced things that, upon reflection, we would assign the category.

Fascination, I suspect, requires not knowing all the details. The fascinating must be the mysterious, harboring hidden meaning maybe ambiguous forms existing in subdued light, beyond the completely knowable. Obscured, the fascinating becomes captivating, inhabits the imagination, mesmerizes, holds one’s attention to the exclusion of all else: sensual magnetism.

It occurs to me assigning the concept is subjective, that such a designation has to do with personal experience, state of mind. And one’s perspective, unquestioned certainties about the world tend to dispel the imaginative sending the fascinating to a slow death. Plus, too much knowledge of the object in question, too much exposure will turn the fascinating into the mundane.

It’s a quality-of-life issue, it appears to me, but realizing the fascinating, experiencing pleasure in the sensuous will require relinquishing certainties. One must leave herself open to the unforeseeable, put himself at risk of surprise.

I’m good with taking a chance now and again.

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