This Keats quote has more punch to it when his circumstances are factored in; dead at twenty-five after years of poverty and painful illness. In spite of that, Keats lived with good spirits, focused on the beauty in the world and the truth revealed through that beauty.
Sounds way too simple…until I read something moving, or see a beautiful child or a stunning sunset, or am the recipient of an unexpected kindness. At that point, the meaning of life is distilled into such simple purity that I understand what Keats was getting at.
Or, when meaningless cruelty, inexplicable suffering, or aborted happiness knocks me off my feet, and I realize I don’t know what I thought I knew, then, Keats’ reminder that I really never knew is a lifeline to sanity.
Maybe one reason humans love the ocean is because it speaks to our cells, not only of beauty, but of deeply subconscious things.
Today I hear it say…
All of life is rhythm.
Don’t waste your time trying to stop it.
Face each wave with reverence.
Hear me roar.
Millions will never see me and cannot imagine my vastness.
If you do; bow.
And, when you are away from the ocean, bow to the ocean within you.
Honor the magnitude of my abundance.
Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you. – Jim Rohn
This overcast sky of clouds, puffed like dumplings with sunlight peeking through between them, cast a beautiful patchwork light pattern on the buildings around me as I walked the dog a few years ago.
It reminded me of the beauty I unexpectedly find in others sometimes; light peeking through clouds here and there, casting a unique and odd shadow upon me. Unfortunately, I have often missed the interesting light patterns because my focus was totally on the clouds.
Owning my own shadows and clouds; remembering that light has somehow found a way to peek through, gives me patience to see beyond the clouds others bring my way. Then, instead of saying, “WTF,” I can be fascinated; “Look, they are flawed too…just like me.”
“Joy is the best makeup.” Anne Lamott
Most of us don’t realize how witchy or decrepit our faces look when we are unhappy, mean, worried, fearful, jealous, or bitter. Sometimes I scare myself when I accidentally see my reflection in the computer screen while I am working. EEK!
When I don’t actively concentrate on joy and contentment, my mouth turns down into a nasty, wrinkle-inducing, upside down U, my brow furrows, and my lips tighten up like a constipated old lady who is angry about things not being the way they used to be.
Awareness of this “beauty thief” also keeps me from acting like a creep sometimes…which is good for others too, even if part of my motivation is just a tiny bit narcissistic. haha
10. They smell good
9. They remind me that beauty exists in a world of pain and suffering
8. Their scent is much better than other things I might smell
7. Their beauty deserves to be noticed
6. Stopping to do so keeps me from being oblivious to subtle gifts
5. They exist for my enjoyment
4. They help me keep things in perspective
3. Enjoying pleasant things improves my body chemistry
2. Taking time to do so, slows me down enough to avoid doing something else that I might regret
1. Observant people are smarter people
(Even apes know that!)