"Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves--goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came."
--"As Kingfishers Catch Fire," Gerard Manley Hopkins
The last couple weeks I have been gently reminded of the quiet beauties of life.
That there lives, as Gerard Manly Hopkins says, "the dearest freshness deep down things."
And that life manifests itself in many forms.
Not always loud.
In fact, usually not loud.
The stillness of a bending river
or the gentle formation of roots
and creates changes
in ways that a supernova could not fathom.
There is power in moving forward.
A release of tension and heavy clouds
to trust in yourself enough--
and trust in God more--
to allow yourself to be unsure.
I might not know what tomorrow will bring
or the next six months.
But I can trust enough--
that there will be forward progression.
And although we never know--
we can never know--
exactly what the future will hold,
there's no need to be stuck in the past
or in pretension.
Mistakes don't have to define you.
They shouldn't define you.
If I were to describe the way I feel right now,
I'm not really sure what I would say.
Sometimes there really are no words to describe life.
Perhaps it would be that I am starting to feel unburdened.
Some of this is because it's the end of a week
and almost the end of a term
(which has been incredibly, incredibly busy--I'm still not entirely
sure if I will make it to next Monday).
But some of it is because I'm relearning
that I don't have to do it alone.
(I seem to have to relearn this lesson at least once--if not twice--every month.)
But that there is a beauty--
one of those quiet beauties
that you never see
like roots spreading their tendrils
through thawing soil
or the slight change in pitch
as the melody changes keys--
but a beauty
in spending time with others.
Letting them see into your soul,
even for a little bit,
and allowing them
to unpack their heart as well.
A window to a soul
like driving past a house at twilight
with their blinds open and lights on
and you see a man
chopping tomatoes by their kitchen sink
or sitting at a piano
or laughing at some joke you will never know.
Those windows into lives that you cannot fully understand.
Distanced from you,
yet sharing a connection
a connection we all share
by simply being human.
By simply living.
No one is alone.
No one needs to be alone.
I cannot have myself without yourself.
And in those others' faces,
we see ourselves.
"For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces." (Hopkins, "As Kingfishers Catch Fire")
"lovely in eyes not his."
and we are.
made lovely in eyes
that are not our own.