Beauty is my one word for 2014. As soon as I knew that beauty was what I was dealing with, it started popping up everywhere. I shouldn’t be surprised. It’s no mystery why poets and writers and lovers and prophets and dreamers are obsessed with beauty – she is fragile and elusive and strong and everywhere. There’s such a wealth of words to say about this one word, beauty. So I chose a few beloved others to help me start my year of saying it.
“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.”
– Lord Byron –
The most beautiful aspect of a scene or person is rarely what’s out in front – what sees the light of day. It’s usually something that takes a little time and a measure of gentleness to find. I hope this year teaches me to slow down enough to see beauty.
“Beauty – be not caused – It Is –
Chase it, and it ceases –
Chase it not, and it abides -”
– Emily Dickinson –
Beauty is hard (impossible?) to manufacture. Oh, but we try. Our culture spends billions of dollars a year, chasing beauty, trying to force her hand. Trying to make her show herself to us. Trying to make her happen. And when something we make is beautiful, we think we’ve succeeded, but the truth is that we just uncovered the beauty that was there all along. I hope this year teaches me to find beauty.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
– Isaiah 61:3 (KJV) –
I sort of cheated last year. I didn’t figure out my one word until May. And it was not really one word. It was more a set of various words within a theme. Bravery. Courage. Risk. And looking back, that’s what the year was. It was a good year. It was a year when I took back my life (still not clear from whom or from what, but I am sure that now it is MINE). It was a year of making hard and scary choices. And I learned that scary choices are exhilarating and exhausting. Scary choices taught me that they are worth it – they will always teach you something – but that sometimes, the best choice isn’t the scary one. Sometimes what feels like fear is your brain saying, “Hey – that’s actually a bad idea.” Burning bridges and burning out will teach you where that line is. It will also leave you with a lot of ashes. Somewhere in those ashes, there is beauty. And I’m past ready to see her emerge from them.
“…it was a forbidden object…a useless and therefore a self-indulgent one. I asked her what purpose it served, and she told me, It doesn’t do anything obvious. But it might be able to do something in here. Then she touched her hand to her heart. Beautiful things sometimes do.”
– Veronica Roth, Allegient –
This is the hardest part to articulate. How will beauty change me? And please, oh please, let it do so. But how? What will it look like? Will I even recognize it? I hope so.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.”
– Rumi –
There is a push inside of me to be more than an observer. To be the catalyst. To stop waiting for what I do to be noticed. To do the things (good things – no nefarious plots afoot, just to be clear) that cannot be ignored.
“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” YES.
This is the year of beauty.
Some of the most beautiful people I know, I met here – Story Sessions.