I have been obsessed with beauty since my brother died of cancer. I cannot really explain it. I can only recognize it and acknowledge it. After he died my world went silent, there was no God speaking words of comfort, there was no friend who knew what to say, there were pastors who were too busy or too uncomfortable to talk. I found a couple friends who listened, and listened, and listened and for those friends, I am eternally grateful. But during this process beauty wrapped me it her arms and held me tight until I could figure things out.
During this time I found that beauty ministered to me in a way that no person could. I found myself raptured with the beauty of a mural on the side of a building. I basked in the red of my dining room wall. I listened to jazz with a thirst I had never experienced. I walked paths in the mountains and put my feet in the icy water that flows out of those mountains. I took picture after picture of sunsets. Even the birds that rose into the sky in unison after being startled from their congregating place, thrilled and delighted me. I walked through the Denver Art Museum over and over basking in the beauty of paintings. I found comfort in echoes of the footsteps of strangers.
I found that the silence was not really silence at all. It was a hyper focus on the things around that disperse grace and mercy. It was the very heart beat of the God I serve, who speaks without words but ministers just the same. It was in many ways the only way to reach me. Like a life preserver, It circled me and held me up until I could regain my equilibrium.
Even today beauty is a pursuit that I engage in regularly. I play the piano all the time. My family worries about me more if they do not hear the piano then if it is constantly playing. I am indeed obsessed with the creative process. I write, I sketch, I play piano, I listen, I watch, and I see things like the many colors of white in a blossoming rose. I notice the shadows and the play of the light on the surface of the water. I feel the softness of the breeze and I hear the subtle change of a sharp five in chord.
Through this tragedy I have learned to live in the moment and notice the beauty around me. I have learned the rhythm of my own breath and the beat of my own heart.
Sometimes the only voice I could hear, was the beauty that seeped through a painting, or the brass ring in an improvisation. The voice of God cannot be silenced, the voice of beauty cannot be quieted, the grace, mercy and love that anoints the patron of the arts should be valued far above any amount of money. I wish more people recognized the value of Art. I wish more people would pause and really look at colors, listen to music, walk through the gardens that surround them, watch as a dancer glides across the stage, and recognize beauty. To recognize beauty is to allow yourself to be loved!