Molly and I haven’t been able to walk far lately. So it’s been an interesting time to learn. Because I had been thinking that if I wanted beauty I had to go somewhere else to find it. But here it was, plastered to my window. So it made me realize that walking for miles and hunting for beauty is excellent but so is having beauty right here.
It has been difficult of late. So I find myself falling back into things that have always helped me. If I notice the beauty around me… well, that has always been food for my life. I think life keeps on bubbling up from somewhere, and beauty comes up with it.
I have been surprised so many times, by my pictures, but also by life in general. Bill's and my life together has unfolded through many hardships. In fact, I learned to see beauty for a reason. I had to see it - I needed it badly. But answers did come from unexpected places. And I have to say that our life together here on Block Island has been richer and more wonderful than anything I had dared to imagine. I wouldn't say easy, but wonderful. Perhaps easy and wonderful are two different things.
I realize that everyone is wanting something badly, even if they are wanting it in different ways. Maybe this is a time to learn, to let ourselves long for the life that is calling to us. Because I do find that answers can grow inside of that longing. My hope is that this will be the beginning of changes, because I do think that life is always possible, not only possible but probable. No, definite. Inevitable. Guaranteed.
I had a friend named Ruthie. She’d had a hard life, including living through polio and a terrible marriage. Toward the end of her life, she lived on bread and peanut butter - and the love of her friends, because she had many friends. She meditated all day. She could find as much beauty in the patch of grass outside of her window as I will ever find on Block Island. (That patch of grass was two feet by six feet, right next to a parking lot. She had a Brooklyn accent. She said it was her paaaark.) She died with grace and peace about fifteen years ago and was one of the wisest people I’ve ever known. One time, I was going on about something. She said, “Gracie, listen. You can explain everything but that doesn’t explain anything.”
We can have all of our opinions, and those have a way of rooting in. But what if those are not the main thing? What if we are carried in all of this beauty anyway?
I have been learning something, especially in the last several days. That is, that we really need each other. I have seen the difference between the theory and anger and worry about something and the things you find out by being with people in the same room, and by saying and listening to everything, and by waiting and slowly learning how the world is going to turn. And perhaps the thing that matters under everything - under the beauty, under the fear, under the speculation and opinions, under anything that could possibly happen, is the fact that we are connected.
The less I know, the more important it is to me that I remember. Because that’s the only way I know to find out how to live, and what is important, and how my life will grow. I want to stay as close to beauty, as close to my people, as close to the core of life as I possibly can.