i'll summarize for those who don't care to read it. the story teller's mother tells of her trip to switzerland when she was younger. she went with a good girlfriend of hers, and eventually, while out to eat, two swiss men paid for their dinner. they began talking, went out to a club or two, and ended up taking a stroll on the banks of a river or lake. just as she thought that the man she was with was going to kiss her, he began to choke her.
she said, as she realized she was going to die, she gained an extreme amount of clarity and disconnection. she realized how beautiful it was on the banks of that water, and how sad it was that beauty was going to end right there.
just as she was about to succumb, he let go. and she never said anything about it before. she still had his business card. [though, the bit on the radio continued another few sentences. the narrator asks her mother why she still has his card. her mother replies that it is a part of her history.]
what struck me quite strongly, or at least enough to write it down, at the time, was not only does beauty matter person to person, or subjectivity, but moment to moment. it is so transitory that it would be impossible to clearly define what it is about something that makes it beautiful. if it can be affected by such trivialities as mood or states of being - i.e. hunger vs. nausea - then it does not seem that they can be fixed externally.
yet, we act as though they are constantly. and i think that assuming such an erroneous claim as fact keeps us [or me at least] from seeing things as they are. moment to moment. instead of just dismissing them as already accounted for. how sad it would be.. for beauty to end here.
*bonus points if you know where it is from with no looking it up