Here is the world.
Beautiful and terrible things will happen.
Don’t be afraid.
(Two local teens died in separate roll over car accidents yesterday)
Most days I depend on beauty
happening in the most unexpected places
and go looking for it.
But when the terrible crushes, bleeds and fractures us,
beauty hides its face,
what I fear most
is that I’ll not ever see beauty happen again.
We are told, again and again and again
every single day, if only we can hear:
here I am with you in this broken world-
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
do not be afraid
Stepping off the city sidewalk into this store
is to transport in time to a debonair era
where the covering on the head defined an individual
far beyond a pragmatic trucker’s baseball cap or skier’s stocking hat.
This is a place to leave behind the ordinary,
step away from the rush of the street
to find something extraordinary for the head of an uncommon man,
designed from wool, leather, straw or felt, sometimes trimmed in fur or feathers.
On this day the shoppers search high and low,
hushed and reverent in this haberdasher sanctuary
of stacked hats and wooden boxes, to peer in antique mirrors
turning this way and that, smoothing and adjusting dapper brims.
The array of choices is overwhelming,
as is the diversity of heads to cover,
from young to old, bald to shaggy,
a melting pot of noggins searching for a fitting crown.
Fedora, trilby, stetson, bowler, boater, beret, newsboy, homburg,
transforming the wearer beneath, becoming equalizer
of generations, races, genders by fitting a worthy head:
making a statement without a word spoken.
Who would have thought it possible that a tiny little flower could preoccupy a person so completely that there simply wasn’t room for any other thought?
~ Sophie Scholl
I think we are all in need of a little floral therapy.
These trees are magnificent,
but even more magnificent is the sublime and moving space between them,
as though with their growth it too increased.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Each birthday passing brings this realization:
the years themselves, as notable as they are,
mean nothing compared to all the million moments,
invisible as they may seem at the time,
that fill the moving space between the birthdays.
Each leaf distinguished only by its tremble
distinct from the next leaf,moved by breezes from unseen sources.
You are alive.
It needn’t have been so.
It wasn’t so once, and will not be forever.
But it is so now.
And what is it like:
to be alive in this one place of all places anywhere where life is?
Live a day of it and see.
Take any day and LIVE IT.
Nobody claims that it will be entirely painless, but no matter.
It is your birthday and there are many presents to open. The world is to be opened.
It is the first day because it has never been before
and the last day because it will never be again.
~Frederick Buechner from The Alphabet of Grace
During these turbulent times
when too many regret living and quit,
when too many are deprived of taking a first breath,
when too many live shrouded in pain and sorrow:
I tend to forget each day is a gift to be opened and savored.
Each day a first day, a last day, a birthday of amazing grace.
I am alive, by God, it needn’t have been so, but is so now.
is flux, and light becomes what it touches,
becomes water, lilies on water,
above and below water,
becomes lilac and mauve and yellow…
Doctor, if only you could see
how heaven pulls earth into its arms
and how infinitely the heart expands
to claim this world, blue vapor without end.
~Lisel Mueller from “Monet Refuses the Operation”
It is all about the light
when it fluxes and flexes around us,
transforming us, making us something more
than how we started.
If I could only see this in each person,
how light and water transfigures the rankest weed
and the deepest shadows,
if only my heart could expand
as does the heart of God
when He claims us as His own…
then I could truly see,
how heaven pulls earth into its arms,
blue vapor without end.