I didn’t post yesterday because I stopped writing mid-blog.
This is what I had written so far:
We sat on our front step this afternoon to breathe in the early spring-like weather (we like to call ourselves the neighborhood watch).
The trees looked like sculptures, and the sky looked like a Maxfield Parrish painting. I said, “It looks like a painting.”
Only it was an actual experience of beauty and warm breezy grace.
I often assign beautiful experiences that happen in my everyday life an alternate identity in a painting, a poem, or another locale: those clouds look like Parrish; that birch tree like a Frost poem; those grassy hills near the 101 Freeway I imagined were like the Scottish Highlands.
I did that ever since I was a kid…
Then I just closed the computer, listening intently to a voice that said, “What is your point? Who is going to care about this?”
The point I was trying to get to was that I think there’s a paradoxical both-and about experiencing beauty; there is something immediate and present and at the same time remote and longed for when we encounter it.
Stars, clouds, sunsets, mountains, ocean waves, Mozart, Rembrandt, Simon and Garfunkel :).
It gives me permission to enjoy the present while also letting whatever that thing is spark a forward-looking into the future, into the longed-for even if that’s unnameable.
The other point is that when we pick ourselves, create, share, hold ourselves responsible for adding beauty to the world, shame and resistance will come hand in hand and try to silence us.
I love what Seth Godin says about this, that when resistance kicks in, that’s when he knows he’s on the right path. It’s a compass.
Enjoy beautiful things. Make beautiful things. When resistance comes, lean your shoulder in and keep moving.