Monday, January 14, 2008

Beauty



I want you to read the next line quickly, without pausing to reflect upon the evil that would drive a person to perform such an act of depravity. Last week a man threw his four young children from a bridge and I am tired of being held hostage by this sort of nonsense. It seems now would be a good time to promote beauty over filth, creation over destruction, sacrifice in lieu of greed; it seems today could use some lace around its edges.

My two-year-old daughter, Mary, just this past Saturday, broke a seventeen-day streak of wearing the same velvety semi-formal Christmas dress - to the library, the store, Church, and to nowhere in particular. At first it annoyed me what with all the new lovely outfits she's received as gifts and adorable hand-me-down sweaters, jeans, jumpers still stuffed in her drawer untouched and unloved by their current fickle owner. But after a week or so, once it sank in that this phase was not about stubbornness but rather honest to goodness appreciation for a piece of attire that made her feel like a princess, I began to admire her dedication. Mary, as of yet, has no concept of societal norms, her motivations stem only from an unpretentious confidence too rooted in unconditional love to be wilted by the opinions of others.

I enjoy stringing words together, words I like the sound of, words I play like an instrument, wield like a brush to compose a story, paint a picture, clear my head. There are plenty of things I could be doing, should be doing like sleeping, straightening-up, worrying about all the cruel ways this world could hurt me, but then my days would be smashed on top of one another by monotony. There is bravery in rising above, there is hope in the resurrection of unwarranted kindness and in art for its own “unnecessary” sake.

Because when Beth, my dear friend, invites me for lunch and her table is set with coordinating linens and tastefully etched goblets, I feel blessed and invigorated by her hospitality. When my sister-in-law, Paige, goes out of her way to participate in lives other than her own, I feel inspired to get out of myself and make connections. When
Julia takes photographs, when my cousin (in-law) Erik lives modestly off of his highly melodic and emotionally perceptive music, when Mary’s godmother takes the time to design a lovely watercolor of their cabin in the woods, I remember to believe in the Good, that life is holy, and that faith cannot be measured, calculated, or mass produced with all the repetitiveness and unoriginality of an assembly line. There are countless ways to defy malevolence, to offer our talents, our unique drives and passions back to God.

I am most courageous when actively combating hell with expectations of Heaven, when I get off my lazy, stupefied, media junkie haunches and deposit a little luminosity where there wasn’t any. Drive past my priest’s house in the springtime and I guarantee you’ll be taken aback by the glory of his garden – wild, explosive, and vibrant with every color imaginable. I defy you to listen to St. Elizabeth’s choir belt out “Blessed be the Name of the Lord” at the end of Liturgy without smiling. Turn off the television and pick up a book, call a friend, write a letter. Delight in and encourage wholeheartedly your child’s imagination. Let the compliments flow generously while all judgments dry up from lack of use. Bring forth something noble from out of nothing and be satisfied!

4 comments:

Marfa said...

So, did you take a photo of Mary in this beloved dress? I would like to see her in it....

Julia said...

Molly, I'm really flattered to get a shout out in a blog post of yours. This might make me famous!!! Seriously though, this is a beautiful post. It does seem true sometimes that the primary task of life isn't really making money and eating and doing laundry, but continually finding new ways to draw a circle around ourselves to keep out despair. I would include your writing as one way to keep the circle in tact.

Kelleylynn said...

As a lover of all kinds of music...where can I find a copy of Erik's music? Sounds beautiful -- along with your post!
I truly needed a dose of "beauty" today when I realized the bank account was negative...
Thank You! Glory to God for all things!

kelleylynn said...

I'm a goofball...I clicked on the link you provided...oops!