Beauty has always been an easy thing for me to find and I used this little talent I possessed for all sorts of matters through my life. I used it to win over lovers, I used it to comfort people, I used it to encourage people, I used it to pull the wool over the eyes that sought out truth, I used it to win, I used it to destroy, I used it….. for a lot of things.
And of late I have found it especially easy to find beauty, to find beauty in everything, every person, every rotten experience, every place, every God forsaken thought, every emotion, I have been able to find beauty in all of it. I always wanted to be this person, someone who can find something worth looking at in everything I see and feel but as I have drawn nearer to this being I realize that it is the most UNSETTLING feeling I have ever felt. I wondered, why am I not happy? Why am I not satisfied?
The picture you see above? That’s a bit of my house, my BEAUTIFUL house. My house which I think has been a dream come true to my family in this foreign land. Where I live, it is not really possible for expatriates to own a piece of land, and yet I look outside and I see vegetables, I look outside and I see flowers, I look up into the sky and I see that ridiculously tall decorative palm and I wonder, we planted these into the soil, we may never own this soil, but we own everything on it. We own its produce. We own the past 5 years we have spent here and we own the memories we made here. And yet as we remain ready to have to bid farewell any day to this house, how can I not have one tear to shed? How can I not have one little bit of me buried here for all eternity? How can I not leave but one tiny little piece of my soul shoved deep into this soil, etched into these rocks, engraved into these bricks, tingled into this air that I have spent mornings waking up staring at, worst days looking at, best days dancing upon, sweetest days reminiscing, this sky that healed me, these palms that protected and comforted me, these bricks that sheltered me and this ground that bore me. How can I not have one tear drop in me for that dilapidated swing with names of my entire family signed across? For the wheel barrow where the dog I hated but had was ridden around in by my brothers? For the ridiculous little plant that grew in the center of my garden and i never could fathom why but my mom promised me every year that it was there for some purpose, for that water tank! the one that was our stairs to the roof top, the mulberry shrub which always gave fruit to mulberries just one shade lighter than they should be, how can I not have one tear in me to shed? to cry? to weep?
Because all I can see is beauty! I see happiness ahead, I see with fearlessness, I see good memories and lessons learnt wrapped up and left behind, I have forgotten how to feel anything but, I have been turned into the only-beauty-seeing monster and I hate how ugly that has made me! pain, sorrow, regret, hurt, sadness, anger, anguish, guilt, they all fall as much into the definition of making life what it is as does beauty and happiness, beauty is a good thing, but it not the only thing. Sometimes when we see only beauty we forget how to be sad, how to be afraid and how to live, we forget to do justice to life in its every form, and that is the ugliest thing I can think of.
I see beauty all around me, but when I realized that I can no longer identify what made my house a home and value it and respect it and maybe try to understand it, I think I want to stop seeing beauty.