I describe my blog on my Facebook page as a place for “random writings…”. As I seek to find myself as a writer I am finding that sometimes an idea gets stuck in my head and needs to get out. This is a result of one of those ideas. The thoughts expressed in the following “passage” were birthed in my mind over a year ago. I then attended a poetry reading last Fall that made me feel like my thoughts would be best expressed in that forum. Words and phrases rattled around in my head for months before I ever wrote anything down. Then I wrote and rewrote several incomplete versions over the next several months. It wasn’t till late this summer that I “completed” this work. I had hopes of sharing it this summer, and also felt like I couldn’t really concentrate on writing anything else till this was finished. However, since I’ve not shared it, I keep going back to it and editing. So, it is still stuck in my head. That’s the curse of perfectionism. And I know it’ll never be perfect enough.
Here’s a warning though: It’s longer than my normal blog posts (Just over 1400 words) and it was written to be read aloud, so my punctuation serves that purpose (I’m already comma-happy and I know that).
This is not a poem exactly. It isn’t a short story, or any other known genre’ that I can think of. It’s just something I had to write. Maybe it’ll be incorporated into something else I write later. Who knows? If you find it in any way inspiring, then I’m glad I took this chance.
Those were the first words he said to her as he entered the room.
She turned her head and lifted her eyes in the direction of the voice that she now found so familiar, offering the phrase that she had almost come to expect from him, as it was his favorite greeting for her, whether spoken or written. Though the attribution to her was still something she struggled to understand, and the title difficult to wear with confidence, she had come to believe, at least, that his words were an honest appraisal of the value that he held for her.
As her eyes met his gaze, and she took steps in his direction, she felt a strangely comfortable discomfort. There was a comfort in being in the presence of one who cared for her so deeply, and held her in such high regard; who would cross Heaven and Hell to be with her. But there was an uneasiness as well. She knew the pain of broken trust, and she could not allow herself to trust too quickly, or too completely. He made her feel as though she were safe to let her guard down as he’d done with her, but she wasn’t ready for that level of vulnerability. Not now. Not yet.
She tried to mask her disquiet with a little laugh, not quite able to look directly into his eyes, and said to him, “Ha! So you think I look hot? Like this? In this sweater, and with no makeup?”
Not taking his eyes off of her, and closing the gap between them more, leaving only enough distance to allow them to see one another fully, considering the difference in height; reaching forward he took her by the arms, with a hand gently behind each arm, just above the elbow. Then pulling his hands forward, he let her arms slide through his loosely held grip until he held her by the hands; and answering her he said, “For the record, I didn’t call you hot. I called you beautiful. To call you hot would just be to recognize the way you cause my heart to race when I see you, or hear your voice, or receive a message from you; the way my pulse quickens the closer I come to you; or the electricity that passes between us when we touch; or the way my imagination can run wild if left unchecked. It would be to admit that I am a man who desires you in every way, and that you possess all that I crave.
“And I am.
“And you do.
“But when I call you beautiful, I mean so much more than that.
“Beautiful is the early morning sunrise after a stormy night, that greets you as you begin the new day; that reminds you that no matter the darkness that comes, the sun will always rise. It reminds us that there is something or someone out there beyond our daily existence that provides for us, and cares for our needs, and wants us to feel. Beauty grabs at our senses, causes us to pause and pay attention, and it inspires awe.
“Beautiful is the newborn baby – a mother’s firstborn – cradled in her arms, held closely against her body, feeling the familiar rhythm in her mother’s heartbeat and breaths, listening to the tune that she hums, and without opening her eyes, smiles…just smiles, as if she is wrapped snuggly in a blanket of peace, safety, tranquility, and love.
“Beautiful is the little boy, standing before his mom, freshly bathed, with his hair neatly combed, though still wet, dressed in his Sunday best, clean except for grass stains just below the knees of his pants, with his hands hidden behind his back. He looks up at her with a look that says that the woman standing before him is his whole world. Then a smile covers his face entirely as he presents to her the fresh bouquet of wild flowers that he had hidden behind his back, looking to her face for signs of the approval that he had gone to such great lengths to earn – a smile from the one who gives light to his life. And in that moment, unable to conceal the mist that now challenges her vision, she kneels down to his level where her arms can envelope him fully, smelling a blend of soap and little boy sweat, and she and he both know in that moment that the world is indeed a wonderful place.
“Beauty is apparent for those willing to notice. And It cannot be ignored without losing something of ourselves. It is a gift freely given and received in love. Beauty changes us in all the best ways.
“Beauty is the wild flower that pushes up through the crack in the sidewalk, bringing life where life was thought to have been choked out. It’s butterflies and lightning bugs. It’s full moons and great big starlit skies. It’s random acts of kindness. It’s an embrace and a kiss.
“Beauty connects the human race.
“When I say that you are beautiful, I am saying that you make my world a more wonderful place. I see in your eyes a compassion that makes me want to be more compassionate. Your smile – not the polite one that you sometimes use to conceal your true feelings– but the one that lights up your entire face when you laugh – brings me a joy that even I can’t comprehend. I find your voice soothing, your presence comforting, your insights thoughtful. Your existence makes me want to be a better man.
“I imagine this scene in my mind…
“In the courts of Heaven, the Creator stands before you. He looks upon you with the softness of a father who is looking upon the only offspring from his beloved, whose arms he can no longer feel around him, whose kisses have only lived in memory for some time now. He looks upon you with wonder, and with a love and compassion as would be reserved for the only living memory of His one true love.
“He brushes your hair back away from your face with His fingertips, so he can look into your eyes fully. And He lovingly tucks the stray strands behind your ears. His smile is genuine and fatherly as he looks upon you with pride, as His eyes trace each line on your face – the lines caused by laughter and tears, and those simply caused by the passing of years – all of which only add to your beauty. Much like battle scars, they are earned, and tell a part of your story.
“The moments pass, but time seems to stand still. The angels stand and watch in silent wonder of this intimate moment between Creator and created, between Father and daughter. It’s as if the world had paused, and all present lived only in that moment.
“He cups your face with both of His hands, letting His fingers rest along your jaw, His palms against your face, His thumbs brushing your cheek bones. His eyes are like deep pools whose waters are barely contained.
“I see His chin tremble and His lip quiver. As He starts to speak, no sound escapes His lips. He swallows hard against the lump that has formed in His throat. Heaven stands silent in awe and anticipation. Clearing His throat, He finds just enough air to utter but one single word. As a tear, no longer able to be contained, spills over from it’s reservoir and hits hard upon His cheek; without any other sound to compete for hearing in all of Heaven, He simply says, ‘This!,’ as if to say that you are the pinnacle of His creation, and the final word for beauty.”
Now, having said all these things to her, he stepped toward her. Letting go of his grips on her hands, he moved his hands up her arms and pulled her toward him. He pressed his lips to her forehead. Then wrapping his arms around her, he pulled her into an embrace. With his right cheek against hers, he said to her softly, “And THIS is how I see you. And THIS is why I call you beautiful.”
After holding her close to him for a moment, he pulled back, with his hands firmly on her shoulders, till he could once again look directly into her eyes. With his eyes now glistening, he added, “Because I can conceive of no greater beauty. You are to me, beauty defined.”