I’ve been considering this theme for a blog for a long time: Beautiful World.
Beautiful in my world are the pop-up surprises, the little glittery moments that stop chronic, infectious grumbling and break up gray skies, like the smile I catch on one of my kids’ faces in a picture. I usually see it later, as I scroll through my downloaded images–that unmistakable child’s glee because he made a long skid mark on the driveway with his bike or because she’s watching her brother open a birthday gift, as excited for him as she would be for herself.
Beautiful is in music, voices, in the dark hallways of the building where I work, surrounded by artists who freeze a moment on canvas or in a photograph or in words. Because beautiful can stalk us the way darkness can. Why not, right?
This week I’ve been more than nudged to write something down, I’ve been shoved toward this idea that I have to find beautiful even in the frigid uncertainty of its existence. When a little boy–8, the same goddamn age as my little girl, is killed for cheering on his dad in the Boston Marathon. Clearly people have their point to make. I claim counterpoint.
I want to drop a few f-bombs to make my counterpoint really strong. But it seems counterproductive, so I’ll refrain.
I’ll watch instead for green tendrils to grow on the cliff of anger, from which we could all drop. I know I could. I could at times take a running leap and soar until the painful landing. I felt a piece of that anger rip at me watching news coverage of the harm from some distant and faceless coward. Fucking coward. There, I said it. Because of the coward, I want to train my eye on more than what we frail and victimized humans can make–beyond what we do to surround ourselves with pretty things in the face of ugliness.
This is the picture I mentioned, of my little girl’s excitement, watching her brother open a gift that she made for him:
It’s just a lousy snapshot, but can you see the eagerness, the shine in her cheeks? Ugly can’t dull that shine, not with shrapnel or fire. It’s an example of the beautiful flashes in the world that shove aside hatred and carelessness. So the days when I’m certain that people suck, or in mid-February when the only speck of color is a discarded cigarette butt in the grimy leftover snow, or when all the little things rise like an army to destroy my confidence, or something unimaginable happens, like bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, on those days I’ll write about something I find beautiful.
This is my insufficient tribute and apology to the family of eight-year-old Martin Richard. I’m sorry you no longer have him to bounce on the couch when he’s not supposed to; to hug, encourage, or make fart noises at the table even though it’s rude. For Krystle Campbell’s family and for Lingzi Lu’s family. I’m sorry, and I grieve for what’s been taken from your lives.