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Finding Beauty

1 May 2013
Post PicPhoto credit: Code Poet

One third of 2013 is already gone, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little disappointed.

Fifty years from now, if someone offers me a bottle of wine from 2013, I will not tilt my head to one side as I survey the label and muse about, “That was a good year.”

I’ll probably send it back and ask for something else – anything else. Can I send back the last four months and ask for something else?

At my lowest point, I remember sitting in the minivan, in the parking lot at work, and having this epiphany that life – just “life,” in a big, general, existential sort of way – is painful and sad. Because even the happy times and the good memories become things that we hurt and cry over years later (or months or weeks later, if we’re the unlucky ones). Because everyone eventually leaves his body in a box while loved ones sort through aging photos and pretend like they’re cheering each other with old stories.

But once upon a time the emo kids eventually became scene kids, because even kids with too much eye liner know that’s no way to live.

I’m not saying I don’t think it’s true, but it’s certainly no way to live.

So now, I feel like I’m on a mission to rediscover beauty in this battered, broken world. 

I know it’s out there, because I used to live in it, and I have to believe that the disappointments and burdens and wounds of the past few months have been the weight of a veil, and not the removing of one. I have to believe that the fascination and appreciation of youthful innocence can be eternal, and that the skeptical cynicism of life’s experience is the real smoke and mirrors.

I know it’s out there because I need it to be out there. There needs to be a beauty that pierces through new mommy stress, and financial anxiety, and burnout, and unexpected deaths, and I’ve decided that the beauty I need is the kind you forget about a week later. Because the big beauties – the events that become annuals and the well-executed plans and the holidays – will all end up on foam boards next to someone’s body box.

Or they cost money. Either way …

The beauty that I need to find again is the kind that lives in the creases of my son’s chins and the unopened magnolia buds outside his window. The beauty that I need tastes like iced coffee with a friend or a bowl of chili that got cold while the baby giggled. It sounds like thunder at night even though the river is flooded. It shines like late-morning sun through the bedroom blinds on one more lazy eight-a.m. with Husband even though the bills are piling up, and it sneaks up on you like an evening at mom’s house even though I have to drive away and leave her there alone.

The beauty that I need to find again is the kind that is easily over-looked and quickly forgotten, because that is the beauty that used to send me to bed exhausted and exhilarated every evening. That is the beauty that makes every calendar square it’s own adventure, that – when strung together day after day after day – creates something worth weaving.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 1 May 2013 12:30 PM

    Touching and beautiful.

    • Lex permalink
      1 May 2013 2:24 PM

      Thanks, Sarah. I guess that’s beauty found for today at least. 🙂

  2. 1 May 2013 2:52 PM

    Goodness, I needed this today. Beautiful post, friend.

  3. Kathy permalink
    1 May 2013 3:25 PM

    You have a talent for putting things into words that anyone who has lived at all and experienced the ups and downs of life, can certainly relate to. May the beauty of God’s love surround you Lex!!

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