Beauty: From Bedtime Stories for The Insomniac

I know there is beauty in this world. Sometimes beauty is hidden. Sometimes we might have to look for it and sometimes, I think the most beautiful things are hidden in plain sight but we tend to overlook them.

I saw a few butterflies yesterday. I saw a cardinal too. I remember the day I returned to work after taking my bereavement time when Mom passed away on June 10, 2015. I was walking up 42nd Street, not too far away from Grand Central Station and a butterfly flew up from behind me and landed on my shoulder.

I remember the time I walked up to a little bird standing next to a building on the corner of 42nd Street at 6th Avenue. I had to take a picture to prove this because I knew no one would ever believe me.

A few weeks later, the same thing happened. Only, this time I was closer to 5th Avenue. The first bird was a little golden finch. The second time was a tiny sparrow. The first bird perched on my shoulder for a while and then flew away. The second bird perched on my finger. I walked over to a bush near one of the tables in Bryant Park and sat the little bird down. Other Sparrows flew around us.

I don’t think I have ever experienced anything more cosmic or spiritually inspiring than this.
This was just a little piece of beauty in the middle of the big city where life moves and people keep walking with their heads down; missing everything with necks bent forward, determined with their “Push, push” get out of my way thinking in a “Me first,” society that tends to overlook a much bigger picture.

I know there is beauty in this world.
We see this every day.

Now, I have been told that I have been known to make people cry at times, which is not intentional. However, I believe in revelations of the heart. I believe in everyone’s need to feel and find beauty. I believe everyone fears the ugly pieces of life, which is why we tend to focus on the ugliness around us— and ugliness is, like a weed.
Keep in mind, weeds can suffocate the vines of our existence and if we are not careful; weeds can kill off the beautiful flowery aspects of life.

People do this to each other. Ugly things do this to beauty; however, beauty is much stronger and more resilient than we think.  I know this because even in ugly times; I have seen beautiful things. It was just hard to notice at the time.

I know there is a softness in even the hardest of hearts. I know there is evil. I have seen this first hand. We all have seen evil first hand. But I know there will always be something beautiful to overcome it.
I know this because I have seen the birth of children. I have seen smiles from people that lived hard lives and I was there to watch them overcome.
I know there is beauty because I was there to see people gather at a bitter moment of memorial.

We gathered to say farewell to a two-year old boy named Jake. I watched a mother and father stand together as we released 111 yellow balloons into the sky. I saw this first hand.
It was raining all day but when the time came to release the balloons, the rain had subsided to a slow drizzle. We released the balloons, and I swear; I watched the balloons lift up in the air and all disappear through a hole in the clouds where the sky appeared to open up and deliver the balloons to no other place than Heaven itself. After the last balloon drifted upwards through what seemed like a passageway, the hole closed and the rain resumed.
Please note: This has nothing to do with the belief of God or the presence of God. There is no time to argue that kind of subject.
Instead, rather than focus on anything else; I chose to enjoy the purity of a time when the heart was heavy and the moment allowed for a shred of hope, in which to me, there was something beautiful in such a sad and dreary time.

I know there is beauty. Even in tears, yes, because crying proves that we have a heart the same as laughter shows what our heart is capable of.

I know there are beautiful things in this world. I know that you and me, we are beautiful beyond question and I don’t care who sees, who questions, or who comments on this. I know we are beautiful together. I know this because of the way we fit perfectly, seamlessly, as if time intended us to meet exactly as we did; whether by chance or intention, I know that meeting with you is the most beautiful thing in this world.
It has to be.

I know that sometimes life shows a lot of ugly things. In fact, I never watch the news because the news rarely shows anything beautiful—and I swear I have never seen my society more divided than now. Politics has become the new religion.
I believed we have been divided and conquered, willingly and internally, and on either side, right, left, good or bad, all I see is the exposure of lies and finger pointing in either direction.

Let me as you a question.
It’s really just a question. That’s all.
Can you remember where you saw the best sunrise of your life?
Or what about the place where you saw the best sunset?
Ever stand on the roof of a building in midtown and watch the sun go down?

Ever watch an elderly couple that refused to quit, no matter what, and see them sit together, every day at the same time each day, and share a piece of pie at a place like, say,  the Scotrun Diner in Scotrun Pennsylvania?

Would you like to know where beauty lives?
Beauty lives in the hands of a Grandmother; so soft and gentle, aged by life but not toughened, and soft like a warm blanket swaddled around a newborn child.
Beauty is a laugh that comes from an infant without prompting.
Beauty is a fire up in the hills in the backyard of a home near the Hollywood Hills, alone with and away from the knuckleheads of the world and with nothing around but this creation I call Project Earth.
Beauty is the intentional twitch of a toe after the doctor’s said, “You’ll never be able to move anything below your shoulders again.

Beauty has no gender or agenda. Beauty has nothing to do with God, politics, or both. Beauty is neither allied nor aligned with anything specific, yet, specifically, beauty is absolutely everywhere so long as we choose to see it.

Beauty are the words from my Old Man as he said, “I’m proud of you son,” before he died, of which, these are the words I hold most sacred.
Beauty is the bond we share. It’s the laughter we give. It’s the world we live in. Beauty is you; it’s me; it’s us. I know it is.

I write this to remind me that even amongst ugly and evil times, I know there is beauty. I have seen it. I have seen it in you and in me and in the times we share together. I know there is beauty because even in the sad mourning of loss or regret and during the painfulness of hardship, loss of a life or livelihood, loss of a mother. Loss of a father, loss of a friend, a stranger, or whether it be as simple as heartache, betrayal, or the desperate times of depression, lugubrious, like a dark overcast sky—I know I have seen beautiful things. This is why beauty makes us cry sometimes. beauty is freedom and the understanding that only we keep is in captivity. We could always be free if we should choose to be.

And people like us; we prove the ugliness wrong. And sometimes when I fail to see my own beauty or you struggle to see yours; it’s okay. Don’t worry because we will always have each other to point out the perfections of our imperfect lives, which is why I love you as much as I do.

And yes.
I do love you.

How could I not?
You’re beautiful


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