drawing upon the old white-gold linger of beauty


I couldn't live where there were no trees
something vital in me would starve.

 Lucy Maud Montgomery


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I have spent this past year or two, perhaps even the past half-decade, agreeing with Maud's sentiment, and feeling sure that people need some infusion of beauty from the world around them in order to touch upon their inner beauty, their heart's happiness.

But today I came upon a tumblr site which changed my mind. At Mossy Pond, Katie creates vignettes of loveliness for people, based on their names. As I browsed through them, I admired her wonderful freedom of imagination. And I understood too that an unencumbered wealth of imagery is available to me if I look in the right places. Not at my balding horizons and the barricades of stone and weatherboard around me - but at all my wonderful memories of this lavish world, and inside all the beautiful books I own, and in poetry, and on websites where loveliness is honoured and stored. I am, life is, the world is, more than just this one moment and this one view infront of me.

It's true that, in my country, I can't take the photographs I want, the soft green and white meadows and river willow photographs ... nor wander away some evening in gentle oak woods ... But I don't have to be entirely immersed in suburban ugliness. I have whole universes within me.


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I can sit awhile in memories of hush-coloured mornings at the edge of an island ....
Drinking cups of sweet Earl Grey tea & eating tiny sandwiches in the company of friends in a lovely old teahouse.
Walking amongst white, rose-scented sheets hanging to dry in a quiet morning.
Wildflowers and sudden memories tumbling from the pages of an old book.
Lying down between wild stars and a black, slumbering ocean.
Holding my breath as a sparrow alights on my crumb-strewn hand.



I can believe again that we don't have to stand in a place to dwell within its spirit.


8 comments:

  1. Such loveliness. I feel rather tired today, but your words revive me a little :) And I do feel that we can find beauty anywhere, in anything. I found it in the city, just simply watching the light. California had a different quality of light than we have here.

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    1. I'm sorry for your tiredness, I hope the day brings you just what you need.

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  2. What you found is freedom, of heart and soul.
    Hard to find, harder to keep.
    Your writings are truly beautiful.

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  3. Oh Sarah - this is so true. I am also a displaced person. Where I live is perfectly fine and I do have green and trees around - but they are all tame, and this isn't home. Instead, I fill my space with pictures and pieces from where my heart lives and it actually does help. It's hard to explain the comfort that can actually come from remembering that I once lived in a place so beautiful that it became imbedded in my soul. It's always there and though it took a long time, just knowing that makes me happy.

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    1. The grief of displacement from home is hard to articulate, or to get anyone to understand. Lots of places are beautiful, or are sensible to live in, or ou can visit your home. But like you say, its a matter of the soul.

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  4. When I left my home in the rolling drumlins of upstate New York to follow my husband east to the edge of the world, I was consumed by grief and loneliness and a horrible sense of exile. I have not felt really right since, and that was twenty years ago. I have gone back "home" many, many times, but it isn't the same. It's changed. I've changed. And all of my people have gone on living full lives without me--I am way, way off on the very edge of their existence. So, I like it here now mostly, but it doesn't feel like home once did. I don't know if I will ever feel that rightness of place and purpose and belonging again.

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    1. It must be especially hard to not only leave place but family. Even when you make your own family somewhere new. I guess that is a common experience for Americans, living in such a vast country. I often wonder how y'all cope with it.

      I love your tea kettle icon :-)

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