“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
Each day I spend alone, I realize that I really am not alone. This world is so animate–if only we choose to go explore it and to open our eyes and see the love that waits for us every time we wake up and go for a walk.
Yesterday I woke up early–before the sun–and went to my friend Bailey’s yoga class. I felt that it was a good way to start a morning (as an ex-early morning workout fiend, I still have some of my old habits), but I wanted more after it was over. I went to the coffee shop, said hello and chatted with my favorite sweetheart baristas, and then drove out to Arlee to the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. I don’t know why I wanted to go out there, but again, like the last time, it seemed like the right thing to do.
And it was the most beautiful couple of hours. I watched the sun set onto all the Buddhas and the rocks and horses and mountains. I drank my coffee and wondered to myself, “Why was I so upset about other things when I have THIS to experience every day if I choose to?” I walked some laps around the entire garden, stopping to notice certain things and how much care and time and effort went into making them.
“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds’ wings.”
― Rumi, Essential Rumi
Be careful who you offer your love to. Sometimes people will hurt you. And they may not even try to do so…and it’s not your fault. Love everyone. Don’t react harshly or with strong words. That’s a lesson I’ve been learning lately.
Instead of being hurt and upset, I’ve been learning to go somewhere beautiful, to paint something beautiful, to sing something beautiful…to be beautiful people. To be the beauty. That’s all I can do as an artist with only love to give and no lover to receive it in its full dimensions. That’s what hurts the most–having so much love to give and no one to appreciate its fulness, the laughter, and exploration, and the day-to-day expressions of love.
As I walked laps around the Buddha garden, I felt embarrassed. I felt embarrassed for being jealous, for reacting in anger, and even for being hurt over my last relationship. All I felt in place of those things was love. I dropped down to my knees and cried simply because all this beauty existed and I was too blind to see it instead of the bad things that were happening in my life. Nothing bad was happening in my life; it was the overlap of others’ lives–things I couldn’t control. Now, I understand. All I can do is offer my love, my way of seeing the world, my abilities to be kind and to appreciate a lover. Eventually someone will see that, will love me for it, and whenever that happens, it will happen. But until then, I’ve got skiing and horses and coffee and painting and writing and photography and yoga and running and climbing and working to attend to. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
“Like a sculptor, if necessary,
carve a friend out of stone.
Realize that your inner sight is blind
and try to see a treasure in everyone.”
Build friends. Find friends. Seek love. Seek beauty. Let those who are suffering find their own beauty…their own friends. That’s a process everyone deserves. Be youthful and enjoy it…and be an adult when the time arises.
I’m graduating soon! I have plans to travel with Carli and to Nepal! I have plans to be in Missoula next October working, skiing, and writing and getting ready for law school! I love this community. There is a lot of small-town U.S.A. going on, but there is a lot of beauty too. I love living here. I love you. I love LIVING!
And I’m going to finish this french press coffee and go get more coffee and ski all day!
P.S. Root yourself. Drink good coffee. Wear pink pants. Romp around in your cowboy boots. Ride your bike. Be in love with someone who appreciates you. Don’t fight. Fix things that are broken. Offer friendship. Dance–by yourself or slowly in the kitchen with the one you adore. Paint pictures. Work hard. Think harder. Listen to good songs. Learn the best songs. Have good friends. Brush your teeth. Eat your kale. Don’t forget where you came from. I love you.