I know so much more when I'm alone.

A drop of oil on a rain-slick street - the film is iridescent.

A brief thought, 'beautiful' swiftly rained away by real feelings.

Beauty is no longer in appearance - not the delight of colour, grace, smooth transition. These shine, maybe, if they're done right, but beauty is intent, beauty is purpose and cause. Beauty is evoked not created.

The hues, self-same as the innocence of a paua shell, are sick and ugly.

There is no real beauty there, because the colours are born of waste and pillage.

A film or painting may glamour the eye, music may fall sweet on the ear, but where there is nothing inside there is no beauty.

Alone, such thoughts drop readily into my waiting mind. But how to maintain such a clarity and lack of pretense when confronted by another human being?

This eludes me.

To be myself when utterly alone is no great trial, to somehow present what is not merely pleasing to the eye, pleasing to the ear or sensibilities of another is far harder. To withhold oneself from a connection with another, for fear of spoiling that connection, is so common to my life (and, I fear, to everyone's).

there is no beauty there.

Connection lost.