Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

Better in Small Ways

Monday, November 6th, 2017

If you focus continually on making the world a better place in some small way by improving, appreciating, connecting, and protecting, you’ll develop conviction, stand for something, and model those things for other people. In a small way, you’ll make the world a better place. You and those you love will be happier, your life will have more meaning and purpose, and you’ll create a legacy that will give you peace in your later years.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 165

In the Company of Artists

Friday, September 1st, 2017

When I look back on [my] decade of total failure – it’s been a mixture, both before, and since – there was, even on the days of rejection slips, a tiny, stubborn refusal to be completely put down. And I think, too, and possibly most important, that there is a faith simply in the validity of art; when we talk about ourselves as being part of the company of such people as Mozart or van Gogh or Dostoyevsky, it has nothing to do with comparisons, or pitting talent against talent; it has everything to do with a way of looking at the universe. My husband said, “But people might think you’re putting yourself alongside Dostoyevsky.” The idea is so impossible that I can only laugh in incredulity. Dostoyevsky is a giant; I look up to him; I sit at his feet; perhaps I will be able to learn something from him. But we do face the same direction, no matter how giant his stride, how small mine.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Circle of Quiet, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, p. 32

Beautiful Cracks

Friday, August 11th, 2017

One has to be done with the pretense of being just fine, unscarred, perfectly self-sufficient. No one is.

The ancient Chinese had a practice of embellishing the cracked parts of valued possessions with gold leaf, which says: We dishonor it if we pretend that it hadn’t gotten broken. It says: We value this enough to repair it. So it is not denial or a cover-up. It is the opposite, an adornment of the break with gold leaf, which draws the cracks into greater prominence. The gold leaf becomes part of its beauty. Somehow the aesthetic of its having been cracked but still being here, brought back not to baseline but restored, brings increase.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 50

Deepest Wounds

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Maybe you can live a full and beautiful life in spite of the great and terrible moments that will happen right inside of you. Actually — maybe you get to become more abundant because of those moments. Maybe — I don’t know how, but somehow? — maybe our hearts are made to be broken. Broken open. Broken free. Maybe the deepest wounds birth deepest wisdom.

— Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way, p. 24

True Art

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

True art has a mythic quality in that it speaks of that which was true, is true, and will be true.

Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, p. 11

A Bit of Love Frozen

Friday, December 9th, 2016

Everything beautiful is a bit of love frozen: the love that gives is to the gift as water is to ice. Ah, you should hear our torrent shout in the spring! The thought of God fills me so full of life, that I want to go and do something for everybody.

— George MacDonald, Warlock O’Glenwarlock, chapter 22, quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 230.

Crazy Beauty

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Trust that all you’ve learned was worth learning, no matter what answer you have or do not have about what practical use it has in your life. Let whatever mysterious starlight that guided you this far guide you onward into the crazy beauty that awaits.

— Cheryl Strayed, Brave Enough, p. 78

A Prayer

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

O God, help me to believe the truth about myself
no matter how beautiful it is!
Amen.

— Macrina Wiederkehr, quoted by Robert Holden in Loveability, p. 77

Power and Beauty and Light

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The story I’m going to tell is about abstract mathematics. I’m going to argue that its power and beauty lie not in the answers it provides or the problems it solves, but in the light that it sheds. That light enables us to see clearly, and that is the first step to understanding the world around us.

— Eugenia Cheng, How to Bake Pi, p. 13

Last Year’s Blooms

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

And the joke, or tragedy, of it all is that these golden moments [of our past experience] which are so tormenting if we erect them into a norm, are entirely nourishing, wholesome, and enchanting if we are content to accept them for what they are, for memories. Properly bedded down in a past which we do not miserably try to conjure back, they will send up exquisite growths. Leave the bulbs alone, and the new flowers will come up. Grub them up and hope by fondling and sniffing, to get last year’s blooms, and you will get nothing. “Unless a seed die. . .”

— C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm, Chapter 5