26 August 2009

beauty joy love

My dear friend David wrote to me yesterday expressing his feeling about the connection between love and joy-- "There is no joy without love."

And I agree in some ways-- love does not always bring joy, of course, and can sometimes suck rocks, but I also got to thinking about beauty. Because for me I guess experiencing beauty is also another form of experiencing love...

I am someone who has always taken joy in looking and seeing-- the horses I pass on my drive in (especially the small white one with the whiskers who sleeps flat out on his side), the funny woolly sheep with black faces, the big brown donkey in the cattle pasture, the red chickens in the big organic garden on insect patrol, round hay bales, the contour lines of plowing and cutting, the green fuzz of new corn, the yellow stalks of stubble after harvest, flocks of birds moving from telephone wire to tree top, or the stream that flows by the side of the road high in the spring, slow in august-- yes, all of these things I see each day, not all always, but my days-- when I notice-- are filled with beauty.
What changes is my attention. Sure I look, but I stop truly seeing, or tasting or touching or smelling.

David's wonderful note was a reminder to me-- to stop and look and see---- to reconnect with the things inherent in me that bring me joy-- simple simple things.

So, I challenge all of us-- for 10 seconds today, really look at something, or really notice as you touch something, taste something, smell something, revel in a fine flavor, or a soft shirt, or wriggle your toes, smell the coffee, or look at the clouds or the stars-- something, something that brings YOU joy, just by the noticing. Times whizzes past, in this one moment, for just 10 seconds, revel a little. And if you want, leave a note saying what you noticed, what brought you 10 seconds of joyishness. I'll put them up in a post later today or tomorrow.

10 comments:

B. said...

Music has always been a central force in my life. Some of my earliest memories include the song that played on the radio at the time- I remember one about a hummingbird in a back yard, played in 1971 when my brother was born. Anyhow, I read your post and decided to just close my eyes and really listen to the song that happened to be on the radio (thank god for internet radio, since "my" station doesn't come in at my office).
Playing was Cindy Kallet and Grey Larse's, "If you say yes." So perfect! "Somebody said if you say yes, where will it lead, where will it lead you?" Don't run too fast, don't laugh too hard, don't love too deep,... but the song's narrator said "YES" and did all those things, and was vibrantly alive as a result. It's so like those of us dealing with IF. We have to say "Yes." Yes, I believe this will work. If we don't believe, really believe, then we wouldn't be taking all the chances that we do. The losses and failures hurt more than we ever imagined, but we keep saying "Yes" because we know the potential rewards will outweight all the pain that we've lived through. I think we have to keep saying "Yes" to living- intentionally and completely- in spite of what we endure.
I don't know if I expressed it adequately, but you should check out the song. I'm always amazed that the right song pops up at the right time so often, and this one was just starting as I read your post this afternoon.
Thanks, Kate!!

IVF 40+ said...

thats a really good point. We are not without our challenges but we are also not without our gifts. I have found that if i stop thinking so much and start seeing I am surrounded with love, joy and kindness.

onwardandsideways said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you for writing this. We are much the same in that I've been an observer all my life. And like you, I see beauty... every where. And it feeds my soul. And keeps me going. I sometimes think that this is the crux of all art: to make us remember that we are human and that life is good.

Just heard something on the radio (KCRW/iTunes) that made me think of this post and you. A musician who hikes to the top of mountains. She takes her iPod and listens to music when she gets to the top. And it changes her world and viewpoint, depending what she's listening to. It sounded inspiring. And fun. :)

Kate said...

I try to focus on something every day. One ten second moment I had today: Leaning back on my leather couch, feeling the air conditioning run over my body , the steady hum of the dishwasher in the background. Those ten seconds felt luxurious.

Joannah said...

I had to do something like this today, because I was bogged down with some bad feelings about work-related stuff. So, I decided to think about things that were praiseworthy, pure, lovely, etc. Actually, that's a command from the New Testament. Once I only allowed myself to think about good things, my agitation just lifted and I was free of my cycle of negativity. What a sweet relief!

Jenn said...

Sweet Kate,

As always, you managed to put a smile on my face and give me something to really think about today!

My 10 seconds for the day was reading your post and really thinking about it...about how it is so incredible that you put ordinary words together to give such an extraordinary picture of your life.

For that today - I am so very grateful....and for having you in my life my dear...that is priceless!

I love ya hon!

Michele said...

i spent 10s just looking out the window at the clouds... how refreshing...

Hope said...

This a wonderful post Kate and so true. For many of us dealing with IF we forget to focus on life, we tend to focus only on IF when there is so much beauty joy and love around us. I will certainly take up the challenge.

Simple said...

What an amazing post - thank you!

I just spent 10 seconds looking at my fingernails. Why? Because up until a couple of months ago, I chewed them. I mean, down to the oh so gross nubs for the past 20+ years. Now they are long & lovely. I never give myself enough credit for breaking that horrible habit.

Mad Hatter said...

I just spent ten seconds finding joy in breathing deeply amidst a chaotic week. Thank you!