Monday, October 31, 2011

Fiercely Lovely

Hello Beautiful

My pastor, Steve Kelly, said that “lovely appeals to the emotions as well as the eyes."  When I think of lovely I imagine little old ladies sitting in wicker chairs knitting blankets for their unborn grandchildren in a discourse of the various teacups they have collected throughout the decades. 

But loveliness is a fierce force.  It is encapsulated physical magnetism that elicits an emotional response.  It uses charm to invoke an action.  A puppy’s eyes moving you towards adoption.  A ray of sunshine on a warm spring afternoon bringing you a smile after work.  A perfect date causing you to fall deeper still.  Loveliness moves our hearts.

It also pleases our eyes.  Loveliness is full of physical beauty.  Mal-nourished puppies are adopted out of compassion, a no less valuable force.  But it is out of their cuteness that they are adopted for loveliness.  The magnitude of loveliness is not a measure of perfection of appearance, but the degree by which beautiful appearance affects us inside.  An attractive model with a cruel heart is not lovely.  Furthermore, a storm may be lovely if it is ferociously filled with sheets of water; boldly casting lightning and thunder; colorfully filled with umbrellas and galoshes; and even promises with a rainbow.

Loveliness is the quintessential meeting of physical and inner beauty.  Ones maximized physical beauty is drawn into the spirit and portrayed to the world in a contagious manner.  The observer is entangled in a storm of sensory overload as their eyes and hearts are bombarded with delight.  They enjoy the presence before whom they stand because the signals received by their hearts match those perceived by their eyes.  They are swept away into a deep connection with the subject.

It is this level of loveliness and beauty that we should all desire in our lives.  We should seek to draw our physical beauty into our hearts and infect the earth with our love; cancerously devouring the world in an appeal to their hearts.  Inspiring not just more beauty, but true change and an elevation of the broken human condition.  To this end you must portray the loveliness you embody because you are beautiful.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It Just Is

Hello Beautiful

Tonight is a melancholy night.  Not in a depressive state but in a pensive manner.  There is nothing wrong or sad or broken.  It just is.  I live alone.  Usually spending evenings practicing my music and dreaming of new things to create.   Some nights I go to church and meet new people.  Other nights I watch TV and make dinner for one.  It just is.

I often think and dream of my future wife.  Making dinner together and fighting for the remote.  I wonder what she will be like.  Her smile and sense of fashion.  Will she like photography or be a good singer?  I am quite lonely without her.  It is just life.

I am studying for a big test I have in a few weeks.  It is one of the last major tests I have to take in my career.  I failed it last time.  It just happens.  I hate reading, making studying even harder.  It also makes reading the Bible really hard.  Not that I do not want to spend time with God, it just is.

I have been having some health problems.  Some short term, some long term.  I unfortunately have no choice but to take a lot of medication right now, despite all my research for alternative methods.  Everyday I feel it wearing on my system.  Like grains of sand eroding the paint on a beach house.  Some things are unavoidable, they just are.Like my workload at the office.  I am designing a building, writing a book, heading up a committee, conducting software research on multiple programs, and preparing for a major presentation.  It just has to get done.

It is life.  People often ask me how I can live alone or how I juggle all my projects.  My family asks if I am looking for a girlfriend or if I am eating well.  My friends ask me if I am watching a certain TV show or how I am feeling today.  Usually I answer people quite honestly.  Because life just is.  There is no sense in hiding behind facades because there is nothing to hide.  There are moments that we savor.  Memories we call them.  But life is more than just a string of highlights.  It is also the plain hours like tonight.  Nights where I do nothing special but still believe that my life is full of beauty.

You are beautiful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Its over

Hello Beautiful

There is nothing that fascinates me more ethologically than the human ability to choose.  Not the simple choices of whether to eat when we are hungry or seek fire when it is cold.  It is the complex decisions that are required of humanity that separates us from animal.  This is a gift that was bestowed upon us.  And an untapped one.

We succeed at basic choices: nourishment, shelter, health, safety.  We are adequate at advanced decisions: education, career, marriage, religion.  Some can even make difficult resolves: break-up with a fiancĂ©, volunteer with the Peace Corp, sacrifice your safety for another.  When presented with a choice between a quantifiable number of options humans can select one.

Where we fail is when the choice involves not options, but a state of being.  The most popular phone call I receive by far is “I’m so over him!”  Usually fallowed by reasons why the guys is lame, how they are better than him, all the things they USED to love about him, and so forth.  My deeply insightful statement proceeding such a disgorge usually revolves around how my last band practice went. 

The shock is palpable even through the phone.  Meeting cares and tears with a complete change of subject feels like slapped rejection.  And just before I am confronted for my inability to counsel my friend I explain.  If we claim we are over someone, should we not be over them.  Making the decision to not be with someone is easy compared to living out the choice of being with no one.  But when we end a relationship (whether with a person or a candy bar) we cannot live our lives in the shadow of that thing.  It must vacate the recesses of our mind.

So often we look for self-help books, motivational sermons, a resurgence of will, or the dissolution of procrastination; when all we need to do is tap into our human ability to choose.  Greater than its decision making capabilities, this gift we posses helps us live out our choices.  Deciding to break up needs to be followed by choosing to be single. Don’t just decide to lose weight, choose to be healthier.  When you decided to get married you chose someone to be with.  When you decide to wake up, choose that you are beautiful.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Paint

Hello Beautiful

Amid the western edge of the free world, where the mountains descend into the seas, is a promontory that keeps watch over the water.  Each night this land mass witnesses the sun kiss the horizon and sink into ocean.  This circadian ceremony yielding to the luminance of the moon is celebrated by a spectacular expression of color. 

It begins with a blue sky and blindingly white sun glistening off the surfs specularity.  As the sun draws lower, the longer wavelengths of light bend across the Earth’s stratosphere to create yellow.  Then orange.  Then red.  And just as the sun slips into the deep, the cloud's aerosolization of particles explode in a refraction of light; granting us purple.  As the moon takes hold of the celestial, the deepest blue covers the cosmos. 

This is Point Dume in Malibu, California.  Here you can see the end of the world.  As I watched I wanted to pull each color from the sky and put it in my pocket.  Keep them for later.  There were so many rich hues they could never be discovered again.  But alas I could not take them.  The sun would set and they would be gone.

Many of our beautiful moments in life set.  Relationships.  Plays.  Dinners.  Dances. Births.  And even life itself.  We replay the highlights in our minds.  We take pictures.  We try to savor the moments.   But no matter how hard we try, we cannot live our entire lives in those moments.  A memory is just an impression of life.  It is not life itself.  We must move forward and continue to paint more moments of beauty in the world. 

One would never watch a sunset, consider it beautiful, and hold onto that fading memory forever.  The sun sets every evening.  Every evening we fail to pause its leaving.  But every day it returns with chromaticism.  Imprinting us with a new memory of our breathtaking planet.  Reminding you that your world is gorgeous.  Reminding you that you are beautiful.