Beauty Lost

Ode (Greek)   

Chorus: (loud, not shouting) Habituation! Habituation!  

Verse 1: Why does beauty fade over time in the eye of the beholder?
              What is it about the perception of a beautiful person, object, 
              or experience that makes a sublime moment so fleeting?
 
Chorus: (same) Habituation!

Verse 2: When we repeatedly listen to a favorite song, or enjoy a sinful 
              dessert, the experience lessens in intensity over time. With each 
              repetition, our experience of it changes. It is possible that we may 
              over think or intellectualize an experience which could reduce the 
              emotional impact it may have on us. But more often, I believe 
              familiarity and habituation play a large role in the degree to which 
              our impressions change over time.

Chorus: (slightly softer) Familiarity breeds contempt! 

Verse 3: When we are first seduced by the beauty of a rare experience, we want 
              the sensations to last for as long as possible. One reason for the 
              gradual decline of intensity may simply be our inability to contend 
              with sustained emotions. When we become dazzled by the same 
              experience over and over, we may easily become vulnerable to the 
              enchantment, lessening our ability to manage the tasks of everyday 
              living, ultimately losing connection with ourselves and others. 

Chorus: (soft) Seduction. 

Verse 4: Daydreaming, or a new romantic love interest, are common examples of 
              situations where we can easily lose track of immediate goals. Though 
              wholly interesting and exciting, these situations may place us in a 
              vulnerable or even dangerous position over long periods of time. 

Chorus: (poco cresc.) Compulsion, Obsession, Addiction.   

Verse 5: Addiction is an extreme form of habituation. Addiction is dangerous 
              precisely because the intense experience associated with its effects 
              does not lessen with each occurrence. Addiction threatens social 
              stability, and often survival itself.