through-the-lens-header

A Love Letter

My dear, my dear, do not fear the night.  

It comes to bring contrast to the colors of the light.  If not for dark, walled-in caves with no cracks at all, you wouldn’t know the beauty of the bright, golden sun.  Or the rich green leaves that serve as beds to the raindrops that fall from the sky.  You wouldn’t know what the sky really looked like if that’s all you saw day in and day out.  Its brilliant blue would turn to haze and your eyes would eventually glass over so you could hardly see its detail anymore.  You would think it commonplace and try to throw it to the wind out of boredom.  

You say you wish for all things to be made new and all the darkness to be gone, and yes, I think that’s in all our hearts.  This world is not how it should be, and we know it.  But do you also see that the colors of the sun, the leaves, and the sky are so beautiful because they come as a welcome miracle at the other end of your pitch black nights?  You see how beautiful they are, but if they were all you ever saw, you wouldn’t see their beauty like you do.  My love, take heart.  Cry into my chest if need be.  Speak.  I’ll listen.  I know the nights are wrought with pain.  And I’m sorry.  I’m so, so sorry.  You should not have to go through this.  I have no answer for you.  I wish I did.  I know my words don’t fix anything.  But I am here.  And I just want you to see.  To see how much you see the beauty, how sensitive to it you are.  You may have a heart more aware of beauty than most, and with that, you are also more sensitive to pain.  You feel everything very deeply.  But remember, “beauty can save the world.” You are a chosen one to help others find the beauty.  

You are a chosen one to help others find the beauty.

Caravaggio, he mastered Chiaroscuro. He could create an effect of contrasted light and dark in a painting.  He must have had his own darkness, too, to make such captivating works of art.  The light, though.  When you cuddle up your little brown puppy and let her kiss your face and let her pure excitement of being in this world flood into your soul, that’s what I mean.  You look into her eyes and you see the marvelous miracle of her life, how just 4 months ago she wasn’t even alive yet, and somehow the lines of the universe matched up so she could land in your home all the way from St. Louis.  Her brown eyes etched with detail offer a certain kind of tenderness you’ve never seen.  She just wants to be loved and wants to love you back.  That’s all that matters to her, and that’s all that really matters.  Remember Nate, the cook at your restaurant, jamming and singing his heart out while he scrubbed those pans like a pro that one busy night you had no dishwasher?  He must have forgotten anyone else was there- his pants were falling down and he mostly had his eyes closed while the music played and he was jamming to the beat like the happiest person alive.  Now that’s life.  Last night after your yoga class, you were in the lowest of states, tired of trying, so depressed and exhausted from everything, wanting a break.  But something in you knew that before you left, you had to run your fingers across the colorful banners the yoga teachers had bought while in India.  They were handmade, they each had yoga symbols on them.  Your heart knew there was something special there.  Some beautiful people who ushered these banners into the world, a new and intriguing culture of their home country, and perhaps freedom and power in those banners that displayed symbols that give meaning to life, gratitude, joy, love, and freedom.  The blues, pinks, and purples, were especially brilliant.  You felt a twinge of magic running through your veins as you touched these treasures.  The beauty almost kills you.

And you realize that perhaps you, with all your darkness and mistakes and imperfections and light and strength and bravery, you are beautiful.  You are a gift to the world.  Just as beauty is a gift to you.

These moments of beauty, you wouldn’t really SEE them like you do if they were all you had.  Or if your life were easy.  Because you wouldn’t need to see them.  There would be little use for them.  But you do have the wretched nights of little sleep and deep despair, or days when the night seeps into the day.  When your soul aches from exhaustion, and the pain feels like it can’t go any deeper.  And, my love, you LOOK for the beauty.  Damn, do you ever.  It’s your fuel.  During the night, you either consciously wonder when the light will come again, or if your hope runs thin and you stop anticipating, when it actually comes you are that much more bewildered and in awe.  You marvel and you laugh.  A hearty laugh because what more joy is there than to be given something beautiful?  Ahhh, maybe there is an even greater joy.  One that you’re still learning.  What if it is then to give it away?  Your heart becomes so full with the beauty that it will simply burst if it doesn’t let any of it go, so you give it away in a smile to a friend or even someone who has hurt you.  You point out to someone the beauty you see in THEM and hope they see it, too.  You care for your teenage friend and really ask how she’s doing.  You do something that would encourage your mom.  You look for ways to love others.  You write, and you song-write, and you hopefully create something beautiful for others to enjoy.  And you realize that perhaps you, with all your darkness and mistakes and imperfections and light and strength and bravery, you are beautiful.  You are a gift to the world.  Just as beauty is a gift to you.  You are a chiaroscuro piece, created by someone more skillful than Caravaggio.  Don’t let your weaknesses or failures cover up your strengths and successes.  They’re just a contrast, remember?  If the darkness weren’t there, the light wouldn’t be as bright.  Embrace all of you.  Be the gift.  Remember, darling, that beauty reins, both around and inside of you.

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