Monday, June 27, 2011

Face Paint

Hello Beautiful

This past weekend I again had the pleasure of taking a models photo.  We decided to keep it low key; one model, one photographer, one beach.  It was simpler than any shoot I have done.  Even the theme was to simply capture “pretty”.  Not over the top glamour.  Of course in this fun endeavor we had to figure out the make-up.  Most girls know how to do everyday make-up very well, but make-up that highlights ones facial structure on camera is a completely different exertion.  So on this simple and sunny Friday afternoon I applied make-up for the first time.  On her, not myself of course.

I was surprisingly good at it.  At first I thought, “this isn’t so hard.”  Dip, tap, brush, and blend.  As I began to paint my three-dimensional canvas I honed out the features I saw in her.  The depth of blue in her eyes.  The highlights of her brow bone.  The slenderness of her cheeks.  As I later reflected on the event that had transpired I realized what a painful ordeal this must be for girls.

Every day make-up is applied, touched up, and removed.  Pores are clogged and later cleansed.  Nails painted weekly, hair died monthly, and eyebrows waxed bi-monthly.  It never ends.  This is life in our society.  Get over it.  You have to do it.  Complaining looks good on no one.  The painful part is not the incessant routine. 

Each morning a young lady looks in the mirror.  She thinks about the day behind her; all its highlights and downfalls.  She looks at her scars from the years.  She attempts to focus on what she will accomplish today.  Her goals.  Her dreams.  Her future.  She thinks about boys and prays for love.  She wonders if she choose the right major and if her mom will ever talk to her again.  She takes all her confidence and insecurities, her wins and failures, her personality and aspirations; and creates her look for the day.  Everyday she replicates the metaphysical parts onto an epidermal canvas for all to see; reestablishing herself to the world. 

No matter how you feel each day—sad, hot, pretty—wear it well.  And wear as much or as little make-up as you want.  Its your declaration.  Remember your beauty is more than your situation.  It is a deep seated truth and testament to your existence.  You ARE beautiful.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Hello Beautiful

I know it is not Monday but I wanted to impart to you an extra entry this week.  Partially because I was dissatisfied with my earlier writing, but mostly because I had an incredibly beautiful experience tonight.  Rarely do I bring my Christianity as the topic of conversation, but this is a strange night.  I ask that those that do not share my theology to please indulge me in this discourse as this is not a blog on religion, but a blog of beauty.

Every fiber of my being vehemently revolted against the idea of attending church this evening.  I ran through every excuse.  Each one failing me more greatly than the last until ultimately I decided to be present.  A decision I will never regret.

I was excited about the guest speaker; a mid-thirties, well-sized, African-American male.  He began the sermon sharing that he had just received troubling news and it was clear this preacher was battling for his life up there.  Such transparency sent a distinct message to the over 1,000 young adults that filled Wave Convention Center.  The alter call brought forth more people than I have seen at a service here.  Normally this would be the end of the night, and a wondrous end at that.

But something shifted.  All were dismissed but the band was prompted to continue playing and an invitation for prayer was made.  At first a small group of people that really needed some time with their Creator came forth.  Slowly more accumulated.  And then the Heavens burst open.  A palpable Spirit saturated the atmosphere and engulfed everyone there.  With one extremely violent cry, hundreds of young people who have stayed for a bonus hour of church in the middle of the week reached out to their God. 

“OH OH OH OH OH OH OH OH” they vociferated.

Literally screaming, they sought after their God with passion.  In the end none could deny they were changed.  A new dispensation was released.

What made tonight undeniably beautiful, regardless of your religious beliefs, was the passion and unity by which an aggregation of personalities sought after something.  And the degree to which their seeking was met with answer.  Passion births the Beautiful.  Without passion so many things in this world would be dull if not nonexistent.  Move forward in your life mission with passion.

And remember I do and always will believe you are beautiful.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Life Interrupted

Hello Beautiful

Today was as plain a Monday as one could expect.  The nights effort to sleep brought little rejuvenation.  At the moment I was finally able to embark into a suspension of consciousness my alarm proclaimed the beginning of the day.  With a stomach full of Special K cereal, a mug of Crystal Light iced tea, and my Kenneth Cole bag slung across my chest I ventured to work.

Run copies. Check e-mail. Check Facebook. Draw building. Lunch with colleague. Draw building. Arrange training. Check e-mail. Check Facebook. Homeward bound.

Mondays I do three things: practice drums, workout, and write you.  I anticipated that the evening would be spiced up by some Photoshopping.  yay (un-emphatically).  I slowly pulled into my driveway watching out for my duck.  Yes, I have a duck with a dozen eggs living in my yard. 

Out of the corner of my eye I spot the cutest piece of animation.  A 7 pound puppy was curiously inspecting my front yard.  I instantly noticed that this little ball of fur had no collar.  Concerned for the puppy and its long lost best friend, I canvased the street to find no one in sight.  He came up to me with inquisitiveness.  I decided to befriend him and allow him into my backyard. 

There I was.  Never having a pet I was clueless with no food.  After setting out a dish of water I did what any perplexed person would do. I practiced my drums and worked out.  Once my thoughts had aggregated I proceeded to take the appropriate steps to take care of the dog.  Upon leaving my home I came across my neighbor who was giving a ride to two individuals that were clearly not her daughter.  I later discovered that they were displaced individuals.

An epiphanous moment caught me off guard.  How often are we so blinded by our routine that we forget to see what needs to be done in the world around us?  Are we so busy succeeding in our lives that we are too busy to help someone survive their life?  I wonder how hungry were my neighbors new friends.  I wonder how much the little boy that owns this beautiful puppy is crying tonight.  I wonder how many things I missed today.  For someone that claims to see the world—its beauty, its details, its heart—I definitely miss a lot.

You are beautiful.

Monday, June 13, 2011

First Kiss

Hello Beautiful

There is nothing that stokes the embers of one’s heart like a first kiss.  The atmosphere is saturated with droplets of anticipation.  The reverberation of hearts pulsating consume your ears.  Falling snowflakes hang in suspended animation as time lingers.  Hesitation, excitement, nervousness, expectation, joy, and anxiousness all populate the heart and mind simultaneous in an ever surmounting jambalaya of emotion.  Then suddenly, in the eye of the storm, the warmth of another's lips are upon yours.  Your body secretes a rush of endorphins into your brain.  And you experience the delicious wonder that is the first kiss.

It is the first kiss where many believe they can predict the future of the relationship.  It can be the kiss of death or the beginning of falling deeply in love.  The first kiss is a key point of intimate connection. 

We profoundly desire to be known by another.  And to know another.  To have an intimate connection with someone.  There is a fundamental longing in our hearts that is love.  We crave it.  We cry over it.  We fight for it.  Love is the strongest of human emotions whose root comes from a greater source than mere human chemical reactions.  The Christian faith teaches that God is Love.  So to love another is to share a piece of Godliness with another.

Don’t sell your kisses for less than they are worth.  They are a point of physical and divine connection to your heart.  This reasons why there is such stake in first kisses.  Your heart is precious.  Do not give it away flippantly.  You may find it difficult to have returned.

Yet if you find someone deserving of your kisses and, by extension, of your heart, kiss them.  Kiss them really good.  Kiss them like the very breath of your life depends on it.  Kiss because the beating of your heart needs them.  Kiss them like the first kiss, every kiss.  When you have been married for twenty years kiss them even more.  And when your hair turns gray and all your teeth are gone, kiss even more passionately.  Kiss with a passion spawned out of a love that has be cultivated over time.

We kiss out of an abundance of love in the heart.  We kiss those we care about.  We kiss those we know.  Kiss someone that knows you are beautiful.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who’s talking?

Hello Beautiful

On my short drive home from an exhaustive day of work I began thinking about what I would write you today.  Fortuitously the most amazing song came on the radio.  Amazing not because the beat is especially bangin’.  Or because the melody was dramatically unique.  But the words really captivated something worth inviting into one’s heart.  Its Who Says'” by Selena Gomez.

The eighteen year old star really divulges a great message about the things we allow our minds to feed upon.  The main chorus says:

“Who says,
Who says you're not perfect,
Who says you're not worth it,
Who says you're the only one that's hurting,
Trust me,
That's the price of beauty,
Who says you're not pretty,
Who says you’re not beautiful,
Who says.”

We are constantly surrounded by lies about ourselves.  Bombardments are launched against our fragile psyche attacking our self-image, confidence, and identity.  Media tells us what we can and cannot live without.  Crushed relationships tell us we are failures and unworthy.  Family places heavy burdens on us with unrealistic expectations.  This is the weight of the world we are a part of.

But who is talking?  Could it be that this media that doesn’t know you, this relationship that wasn’t good for you, and these expectations that are levied upon you are all wrong?  We have heard the lies for so long we have come to think of them as truth.   

I heard a great sermon by Pastor Joe Riddle about the first three questions God asked.  The second question God ever asked man according to the Bible began “Who told you that…?”  Who told you that?  All this junk you believe, who said it?

And why are you believing them?  Take an evaluation of your life.  Seriously spend some quality time the deliciousness of being alone and consider your life situation.  Be honest with yourself about what you believe to be true in your own life.  Trace back who placed those seeds of thought into your heart.  And then start weeding your garden.  Remember that you have a voice and a choice.  We can choose to shut the haters down, eradicate the dream killers.  Remove people that constantly speak death into your life.  Surround yourself with those that uplift your smile.  Throw away what people say to bring you down.  And keep those things that help you grasp that you are beautiful.