January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
I’ve always been drawn to the awe-inspiring, the incredible beauty that makes me suddenly aware of the rhythmic beating of my heart, the pulsing of my ever-streaming thoughts and the quiet places in my soul. I find as I go through life that I stumble upon It in many seemingly unrelated forms, all invisibly and powerfully connected. I’ve seen It in the simple and genuine truth of my little sister. The face of an old man as he rests on a park bench. Someone’s footprints in the snow on the rocky edge of the Grand Canyon. The ocean’s unrestrained rage during a hurricane and its peacefulness on a January afternoon. A dewey autumn leaf clinging to the branch at the end of a life.
I used to really search for this beauty. A part of me yearns for it, screams for it, cries for it. I looked because I wanted to understand. I wanted to ground what I saw in my life, my reality, my words. I wanted to know It inside and out. A dictionary definition. Beauty started to become painful. I’d try so hard to internalize everything…the way sunsets dye the crests of waves pink and orange, the way a child falls and jumps right back up again, the scenic route of a highway. I memorized details, faces, names. I read the supposed great novels of all time and broke down every sentence, every word to fully understand the author’s voice. Days were exhausting and still the essence of It escaped me. I was convinced I wouldn’t be a true artist or the best form of myself until I Knew. Knew It.
I am now only starting to realize that try as I might, I will not be able to gain control over the uncontrollable, understand what cannot be understood. But because I am an artist, I will try, no matter how fruitless the fight. We cannot help ourselves.We develop love-hate relationships with the millions upon millions pockets of beauty to be discovered. Because Beauty brings wonder and joy, but also longing and frustration. We may not be able to ever really put into words the way we feel, the way something looked, the way he felt. But we can get close.
The truth is, understanding Beauty means not understanding it. It means knowing your human limitations. It’s sitting in the sand and watching the waves and having that be enough. It’s feeling. It’s being. And it’s continuing to wonder.