12.8.21 Chasing Beauty

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” 

― Marcus Aurelius

A few days ago, I was driving home – and when I crested a nearby hill, I immediately sucked in a breath of complete and utter awe. Before me, hung low in the almost-twilight sky, was the most brilliant, pink setting sun I can ever remember seeing. It was unearthly and huge. Foreign and heart-achingly familiar. Stark and arresting and perfect. For a moment, I could do nothing but hold my breath and dwell in the space of magnificence.

The experience left me breathless. Transfixed. It was the kind of beauty that stopped me in my tracks … that overwhelmed me to the point of still, and I wanted to stay, to live in that frozen moment of aesthetic peace, and beauty. I wonder what life would be like if we, in our hurried humanity, spent a spell more time in search of breathless beauty. If we contemplated the choreography of the stars … took the time to translate the sigh of a breeze … or analyzed the crystalline points of a snowflake – how much more in tune might we become?

I, myself, would like to become a chaser of beauty – an explorer of moments visible to the eye but often hidden between the time it takes to look up, and the passing of a would-be opportunity. In the case that you are a kindred spirit, and would also like to collect memories of breathless beauty, I invite you to an inward journey of shifting your focus … of softening your eyes and opening your attention to what awaits.

Below are five places to search for and catalog beauty. Remember it is always a thing most precious to behold, not take. After each starting point, reflect on the brand of beauty you discovered, and let it transfix you into your own moment of still. 

  1. Sky. Glance up, into, and beyond. Scan the heavens and trace the patterns of lacy, see-through clouds. Follow the dense emotion of plumb and navy storms as they swell. Catch the glimmer of every constellation you can name, and assign a wish to. Study the expanse of endless possibilities above. 

2.   Earth. Listen. Look. Feel. From soil to snow – leafless, enamel glazed branches to

      thickly dressed pines and petal-laden trails – appreciate each collective piece of the mosaic.

      Notice where the Earth and horizon line kiss … where she blushes sunset-crimson … where

      she blooms, and climbs, verdant green … where she settles and chills opalescent white. 

3.   Water. Let every shade of blue wash over you. From the frozen depth and hush of ancient ice

      sheets, quietly standing guard of history’s secrets, to the tumult and chaotic allure of the

      restless, rushing sea … there is resplendence in every tone. Call forth the river’s impatient, 

      rock strewn path. Draw near enough to appreciate the ripple-free glass of a still lake’s

      surface. Dive into a dream, come up for air, and dive again. 

4.   Humanity. Watch and be amazed at the variance of what it means to be human. A myriad of 

      faces, perceptions, expressions, and echoes of generational legacies: we are wonderful,

      unique, and unattainably complex. Take time to meditate on each freckle and scar. Consider

      what parts of one’s inward-self are visible in the curve of a smile or the lingering hold of a 

      particular set of fingers laced with your own. Beautiful knows no bounds in form or feature.  

5.   Emotion. Don’t try to control which feeling comes when. Just feel. Don’t try to explain, or 

      theorize, or determine … just experience, contend with, and endure. Examine love, even

      when it’s painful or deep. Review hope, and its divine, endless supply. Drench yourself in 

      sadness, when it has meaning – and anger, when it is justified. Then come back to love once 

      more … for the incredibly simple, and impossibly complex truth that love is always the

      point. 

4 thoughts on “12.8.21 Chasing Beauty

  1. Elle, once again your words have left me speechless. Here is to more moments of awe that leave us feeling gratitude and inspiration to not only seek more beauty in this world, but also strive to contribute to it.

  2. I enjoy reading your writing! You have such a way of words that expresses such wonder and emotions! There is so much beauty and wonder, if we would just take the time to see it!

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