“When we awaken to Beauty we become aware of new ways of being in the world.”
John O’Donohue in Divine Beauty
I started this blog after my brother died from stage 4 melanoma. He was my younger brother and the grief of losing him is unmatched by anything I have ever experienced in my short 53 years on this planet. I remember the devastation and the lackluster of each day as I worked to put one foot in front of the other, day after day. I got really busy because I was afraid to slow down, afraid to feel, afraid of the silence, afraid of the tears. When I crashed, which was inevitable, I froze. I couldn’t move forward. I could not move at all; much like a computer that freezes when you leave too many tabs open and eventually, you have to hit the control, alt, and delete buttons at the same time to reset the whole system. I couldn’t move past it.
I quit my job. I stopped talking to my friends. I withdrew from my family. My husband signed me up to talk to a counselor. She helped me sort things out and through this process; I started a thankfulness campaign, which put me on the road to health. I started being thankful for fresh air blowing in an open window, and the beauty of a deep breath. It didn’t happen all at once but I slowly started moving again.
I started noticing the beauty around me. It touched me deep and drew me in like a tractor beam from a Star Trek movie. I started visiting the art museum because the paintings would cause me to stop and bask in there simple beauty. It was a restart. It was refreshing. I started listening to Jazz. The harmonic vibrations awoke desires and creativity, long forgotten. The beauty of music surrounded and engulfed me like a soft blanket and for a moment in time, beauty was the only thing that mattered. I started to recognize that beauty speaks when there are no words.
Beauty speaks when God seems distant. Beauty speaks when there is nothing but silence. It speaks with a quiet urge that can be ignored, but when given attention, it is strong enough to hold me in its grasp, as I pause to look at a sunset. It ignites my sense of wonder and awe. It somehow rides on the wings of gratitude and reaches out to everyone in the form of a sunrise, or the song of a meadowlark. It is available to the weary in the form of a warm, comforting cup of tea or the soothing richness of hot chocolate.
I will never forget the day my brother’s heart stopped and mine continued. I will never understand why nor will I ever view the world the same way. I will never be the person I used to be. It eventually became a new start, a rebirth that would awaken me to the beauty around me. It became the beginning of awareness that the moments I have on this planet are life giving if allowed to delight.
I quit striving to please people, I quit being afraid of emotions, and found the courage to face the silence that terrified me. In so doing I have discovered art, music, creativity, love, and the beauty of just being on this planet. John O’Donohue states in Divine Beauty, “When we awaken to Beauty we become aware of new ways of being in the World.” I do not think we can awaken to Beauty and remain the same. Beauty changes us from the inside out as it delights from the outside in and in so doing hope, love, and compassion are planted and begin to grow.