Archive for the ‘Beauty’ Category

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

Honoring the Cost of Our Gifts

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Each of our gifts carries its own costs, and those costs are real. Someone who has a deep sense of loyalty usually has known the great pain of staying too long in a relationship that doesn’t serve him or her. Someone who sees through hypocrisy and can’t bear dishonesty knows the pain of being punished for speaking the truth. People with humility know the pain of being unseen. And people who bond deeply know the pain of separation in the keenest ways.

As we learn to understand and honor our gifts, we can lessen the pain these gifts carry in their wake. The more skilled we are at using our gifts in wise ways — and this is the work of a lifetime — the less burdensome they become. But to some degree, part of the wise stewardship of a gift is to accept the pain that comes with it. It is the price of the greatness within us. It is the cost of being human, of having a soul. Many of us flee our gifts because we dread paying the price of them. To become mature means learning to own and honor the cost of our gifts in this world.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 69

Seeing and Hearing and Tasting and Delighting

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.

Joy has to do with seeing how big, how completely unobstructed, and how precious things are. Resenting what happens to you and complaining about your life are like refusing to smell the wild roses when you go for a morning walk, or like being so blind that you don’t see a huge black raven when it lands in the tree that you’re sitting under. We can get so caught up in our own personal pain or worries that we don’t notice that the wind has come up or that somebody has put flowers on the diningroom table or that when we walked out in the morning, the flags weren’t up, and that when we came back, they were flying. Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.

Pema Chodron, The Wisdom of No Escape, p. 24-25

Butterflies and Birds

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

There is meaning in focus, concentration, attention. I now notice almost every single bird that flies by, as well as every single butterfly. I pay attention to most plain old butterflies, not just the ones in tiaras or argyle socks. Butterflies and birds are like one perfect teaspoon of creation.

— Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 87

Sing Loud

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

It’s rebellious, in a way, to choose joy, to choose to dance, to choose to love your life. It’s much easier and much more common to be miserable. But I choose to do what I can do to create hope, to celebrate life, and the act of celebrating connects me back to that life I love. We could just live our normal, day-to-day lives, saving all the good living up for someday, but I think today, just plain today, is worth it. I think it’s our job, each of us, to live each day like it’s a special occasion, because we’ve been given a gift. We get to live in this beautiful world. When I live purposefully and well, when I dance instead of sitting it out, when I let myself laugh hard, when I wear my favorite shoes on a regular Tuesday, that regular Tuesday is better.

Right now, around our house, all the leaves are falling, and there’s no reason that they have to turn electric bright red before they fall, but they do, and I want to live like that. I want to say, “What can I do today that brings more beauty, more energy, more hope?” Because it seems like that’s what God is saying to us, over and over. “What can I do today to remind you again how good this life is? You think the color of the sky is good now, wait till sunset. You think oranges are good? Try a tangerine.” He’s a crazy delightful mad scientist and keeps coming back from the lab with great, unbelievable new things, and it’s a gift. It’s a gift to be a part of it.

I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parties and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift, who will use it up and wring it out and drag it around like a favorite sweater.

— Shauna Niequist, Cold Tangerines, p. 234-235