I Am Beauty


“That tiny shiny thing we love and choose to follow is the child of an immensity… Anything that loves must be tested by envy… .Happiness is not the result but reward for gestating into a never-before-seen thing that by its small participation in the whole, feeds the world the beauty of our unique remaining form, particular song, walk, plumage and still hopeful eyes…” Martin Prechtel

“I am beauty” That’s the feeling I carry today, walking at the edge of the bird sanctuary with Alexei on my back. There’s no silence, anywhere, with the traffic running on the freeway just to the other side. But somehow, I am deep enough inside myself that I can rest. Rest into a feeling of being full, and surrendered, and beautiful. Beautiful in my humility of needing nothing more than this.

Later, at the park, I watched a Guatemalan woman, (I could tell by her face, the shape, the color of her skin, the gold in her teeth and handwoven cloth wrapping around the child she carried on her back)… I watched her walk up the stairs, carrying a baby on her back and an armful of western clothing, backpacks, and stuffed animals in front of her. 

She smiled, without smiling at all. And mostly, what I felt was my heart, heavy and full and surrendered to the complexity of it all… her being here in our world with her quiet beauty and motherliness. Starting to embrace modern ways, still carrying alive indigenous ones. In a flash I saw her life, her humility, and I imagine her service to a man, a way, a culture. One that is not this one. I saw the wall at the border. I saw the impossibility. And for once, I felt peace. Peace within the enormity of it all- mostly knowing there was nothing I could do. The exquisite relief of surrendering it all over to something bigger. And being able to only give my humanity to it. To feel my sensitivity, and my perception. My knowing so deeply into what that portrait of her really meant, really was.

I think, in it all, I could feel my compassion. The hugeness of having lived so many pieces of her story and the grace and humility it now affords me. 

There was this hugeness now in my heart, of not having to do anything at all. In that instant I felt decades older. More blessed than ever. And of course, I thought of you, and the unbelievable chore that life hands us, having to know what we know.

The true cost of loving what one loves only begins to reveal itself over a lifetime.

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