Poetry has saved my life at least six times – and I do not mean metaphorically – I mean literally. How beautiful and unlikely a truth is that? And so I have a debt to pay to the art that has kept me alive. That is almost more beautiful than I can express.
Beauty is found in synchronicity, in meaningful coincidences, in the similarity of patterns in feathers, snow flakes, ice crystals, whenever veined leaves and butterflies’ wings echo the lines inside our palm.
I raised my hand and asked, feeling I was probably revealing myself as a poetry-bumpkin, What about beauty? Everybody looked a little embarrassed. Didn’t I know the days of skylarks and cloudy climes were past?
This fabric is beautiful—the way it weaves about, evolves, pervades all without a stitch, the way it disappears, dissipates, echoes, reduplicates, the way it sprinkles motifs, and speaks in the shapes and patterns of glossolalia.
So many of my ideas for poems appear when I am in nature. Even a walk in the neighborhood will do – pink blossomed trees beside a porch where two chairs sit, leaning towards each other, waiting for someone to fill them.
The ordinary is beautiful to me–domestic rituals in the home, a garden’s winter bones, sun on my granddaughters’ hair–where we live and breathe and grow. And at the core of the ordinary is the miraculous, if we pay close attention.
Everything we take into ourselves forms who we are in a continuous process of becoming. Maybe beauty reaches into everything, linking and making meaning in ways well beyond our awareness. Maybe it is hidden in stories, sights, and sensations we deem ugly or frightening because we aren’t tuned to beauty. Maybe finding beauty is a choice we learn to make.
For every news story I read or phone call I make, I pad my core with a little more beauty. The trick to survival, now more than ever, is to hold onto music, color, art, and language. Beauty is not a luxury; it’s vital—it’s how we honor what’s important even as ugliness breaks out around us.