Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Improper Poll: Halleluiah

The sun is out, and I don’t get to see sun much during the work week these days. So I’m taking a break from true impropriety today…and maybe for the next couple of weeks. There’s a scene in Eat Pray Love (the book; haven’t seen the movie) where Elizabeth Gilbert describes a few hours when the pleasure she’s been seeking just seems to settle on her during the sweetest, simplest times.

That very thing unexpectedly happens to me from time to time. I don’t mean ordinary, run of the mill happiness, but an overwhelming thrill that threatens to bring tears to my eyes. I used to try to capture life in art. Now I’m starting to see life as art. What’s more, I used to think the goal in art was to channel the divine. Now I think the goal in life is to channel the divine.

Every now and then, out of nowhere that almost overwhelming happiness just seems to appear and flutter down and nest into my soul, and while it’s there, my heart just soars. This time of year, it’s the way the sun angles through the tree limbs and sends blue stripes of shadow on the road. Or it’s the sculpture of bare trees against a cobalt sky.

Or maybe it’s the little vase of hyacinths on my kitchen table. Or the damp-earth smell of early spring.

What do you see as art? What makes your soul soar?


  1. So many things...My son's eyes, that are half-hooded--what many call "bedroom eyes." My dog's fur when the sunlight hits it, just right--it glints like gold. A sushi roll, with pink and green and black, surrounded by white. My granddaughter's feet, as she dances like an Irish lassie, with feet going a mile a minute and her arms not moving (her version, which is hilarious, but we never laugh)...

  2. Have you ever seen a vermilion sunset? In all the world they only occur in one small area of Missouri in the Ozarks. There the angle of the setting sun is just right for them to occur to onlookers in the Ozark mountains.

    I've seen people stop their cars and get out of them just to watch the sunset and I've heard that photographers from all over the world fly there to try and capture them - generally to no avail.

    The colors are the same as those of your beautiful flower picture. It's like God looked down and covered the Earth with beautiful purple orchid petals and their reflection is shown in the sky.

    It starts out a light purplish color with a hint of pink in it. Moves ever more blue-ish down the spectrum until the sky is a deep, nearly indigo blue, the color of a plush dark velvet. Everything is quiet. All Man's artifices vanish beneath the deep purple and all that remains is the vermilion glory of God's palette in the sky.

    On rare occasions, when the clouds are just right in the sky, the clouds are framed by the vermilion and their edges tinged with the colors so that they take on the look of a drawing on a dark background. I've only seen that once or twice, but it's a hauntingly beautiful image that will never leave me.

    There's much to see on this beautiful Earth and there are visions of beauty that confound the ability of words to describe.

  3. Mmm, a vase of hyacinths. Sublime.
    You are so, so right in your deduction: it is life, not art, which should channel the divine, but we can hardly blame the artists for trying, can we?
    I've known those moments, too, at unexpected times and in unexpected places. They're overwhelming in their simplicity, complicated only when we try to take them apart to analyze them.

  4. Heading to work at 7 a.m. I see the most beautiful sunrise; and when I pull into the parking lot, many is the day the Methodist church across the street is playing their steeple bells. The combination of sunrise and sound is amazing. Some days are so beautiful it hurts to open my eyes.

  5. The sunset Friday was a portrait; the colors were vivid pinks, blues and the turqouise of the ocean. It moved me to tears.

  6. Boy... so many things is right!


Any return "messages" are appreciated!