I’m a big fan of writer Ann Lamott and follow her on Facebook. She recently posted about turning 68. To arrive at this age, she says, means you weren’t born yesterday. It means you have experienced a great deal – friends and family ravaged by cancer, Ukraine, Sandy Hook, the warming of the earth.
“How do we handle unspeakable loss?” she asks. By having a few best friends with whom you can share your truth. “By 68, you know that the whole system of our lives works because we are not all nuts on the same day.” I absolutely love that line.
Thank God my husband, kids, friends, and I aren’t all nuts on the same day. She goes on to say, going outside and looking up, beholding the whole “crazy drunken clown collage outside our windows provides almost too much beauty and renewal to take in.”
Why does this matter? “…maybe noticing beauty changes things in a way we cannot begin to imagine.”
Her post provided perspective for me. I tend to obsess over what is right in front of my nose. And all too often, those obsessive thoughts are focused on something negative. Last weekend, however, I paused to notice the beauty encircling my sphere.
The first stop on my beauty tour was at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts seeing the musical, Cats. The spectacle of the Dr. Phillips Center alone is worthy of the label “beauty.”
The poignancy of the now very familiar song “Memory,” sung by Grizabella, can only be captured and held by the word “beauty.”
The second stop on the beauty parade route occurred in my own home with a visit from my beautiful, sensitive grandson, Austin. For 27 hours, I was in a sweet state of contentment just being in proximity to him. Contentment amid the chaos of the world is worthy of the word “beauty.”
Excruciatingly beautiful are the only words I can summon to describe the performance of concert pianist Alon Goldstein and the Bach Festival Orchestra at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. The intimacy of the concert venue meant we could see Goldstein’s eyes roll back in his head as his fingers flew across the keys.
Meandering through the college’s rose garden following the Sunday concert, we discovered the newly installed bronze sculpture of Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers, you may recall, created the children’s television series, “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.” He is one of the more renowned former students at Rollins College.
The sculpture is a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man. The juxtaposition of art with the glorious weather and the sweet scent of roses carried by the lake breezes was nourishing.
The nightly news is filled with agonizingly painful stories about the invasion of Ukraine. My husband and I are knitting our lives back together following a cancer scare. Pausing to behold beauty and nature provided perspective and respite. Now I just hope I avoid being nuts on the same day as my loved ones.
How do you define beauty in your everyday life? Who inspires you to find beauty in your days? What was the most thing you did that inspired you to exclaim, “Beauty!”?