There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the
singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.
We jump into the void with only our courage
and the beauty of the world to sustain us.
I am a great believer in beauty; beauty of all kinds, whether it’s the written words of Rilke or Mary Oliver or the ink paintings of Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) a famous samurai warrior. I’m especially fond of his painting, Kingfisher Perched on a Withered Branch. It’s so beautiful in its simplicity, and there’s something about it too that feels fragile and impermanent, just like me. Then of course, there’s God’s poetry – the world itself. Some days I almost lose myself simply looking out the bedroom window. On those occasions, I’m often in awe of just how much beauty there is in the world, if you look for it, if you pay attention. You see, beauty needs us in order to become. As Dawna Markova says, “What is loved, reveals its loveliness.” And that’s true for everything, including us. Maybe especially us.
I didn’t always know the power of beauty, how it can inspire, and sustain you. When I was younger, I didn’t really have time for it. I was too full of everything else. All the things I wanted and was so sure I just had to have. Maybe I didn’t have room for it then, or perhaps I simply didn’t need it. Perhaps beauty is intended especially for wearied souls who walk a stone path and find themselves, as I had, in desperate need of salvation. Maybe it’s only then that beauty really speaks to you and offers up her luminous soul, filling all the empty places left behind after life takes, and takes, and takes. We’ve been years together now, Beauty and me, and I’ve grown certain of at least one thing; to sit with her is to worship at the feet of God.