23 October 2011


This week I've discovered the words of Pablo Neruda. And they are so beautiful that I don't even care he was a communist.

It's not very often that words achieve their full potential. Usually words are wasted, sometimes they come close to beauty, but when words can reach down inside you and touch your soul in the way that normally only music can... that is art. That is beauty. That is power.

And it should be celebrated, no matter from where or who it originates. In whatever form, in whatever packaging, at whatever cost, true beauty should be held up like a banner to the world.

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: when I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

- Pablo Neruda

These words inspire memories;
of nights with stars
of walks in the dark
of the moon
of warm laughter
of safe arms
of whispered words
of tears of both joy and fear.

These words inspire hopes;
for a time when goodbyes no longer have to be said
for tiny feet and miniature breathy sighs
for piano music filtering through the walls at all hours
for when written words can be spoken
for battles fought together instead of apart
for an entire chorus of "goodnight"
for a home with a fireplace and an armchair.

Some beauty is obvious. Some is a little bit trickier. But without it... what have we left to remember? What have we left to look forward to?

Beauty creates in us a remembrance of purpose, a regeneration of commitment, an opportunity to say, "This is what I have promised, and this is what I will do."

It is so easy to be caught up in the moment, in the day-to-day humdrudgery of school or work or laundry. We can forget the real reasons we're here. We can forget that there's something behind all this. Behind, and above, and through, and beyond. There is so much eternity, and life is merely a little speck that we must fill with as much learning and accomplishment and love as we can. We are given this tiny pinprick of time, placed here to skirmish, armed only with nearly inaudible whisperings of mission and truth.

Beauty provides us with a place to rest, to breathe, if only for a moment.

Love always,

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