Monday, July 16, 2018

Beauty


“Beauty is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.” ~~ John O'Donohue

We don't talk much about beauty any more.

Perhaps it is because we are disconnected from nature.  Perhaps it is because what fills our ears and eyes is the dissonance and discord of division.  Perhaps it is because we sense that if we don't focus on the difficulties around us and within us, we do a disservice to those who are being hurt and harmed.  I don't believe we find the division more captivate or compelling.  In many ways, the constant bad news cycle has rewired our minds in such a way so we are blinded to the reality of beauty within and around.

While beauty can be a distraction, it can always be a window into the deeper truths of the world.  For me, it is the willingness to live in the both/and of life.  Yes, there is too much brokenness.  And yes, there are moments when I am in the presence of that which helps me feel more alive ~~ see the last three posts.  To suggest that the frustration I feel in response to children being taken from their parents is somehow "more true" than the hike I took in NC, is to compartmentalize and categorize.  This is the activity of the mind, which likes to rate and rank.  We want to "know" what is most important.  We want to be sure that we are doing what we are supposed to do.

But has Mary Oliver asks in her beautiful poem, The Summer Day,  after confessing that she has been laying in a field watching a grasshopper, "Tell me, what else should I have done?"

In a world where we are so busy life becomes a blur.
In a world where we are fed tidbits of "news" that are meant to pull emotional strings.
In a world where we struggle to keep up...and rarely stop or slow down or breathe.
In a world where pain and brokenness clamor and seem to always have the last word.

Beauty sings sweetly, "No."
Beauty beckons deliciously, "Come."
Beauty gently whispers, "Look."

Not as a demand or as the only way.  But as a way to a deeper sense of truth and a way to taste more than a trace of God's grace.

Grace and peace ~~

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