“It is so beautiful I must show you how it looks”

Brenda Ueland, in her book If You Want to Write, writes that when you just see the beauty in something, you get a burning desire to figure out how to tell other people about it.

I believe I do have this inner passion—it burns away while I lay awake in the middle of the night. There’s a deep beauty in how everything is impermanent. I see it in light and shadows skimming across the earth, the same way loving hands caress skin. In once-mighty trees groaning wrinkled and weary. In the remnants of once-cherished possessions tossed on the ground, memories of being cherished still wrapped around them.

I have been engrossed in trying to understand why this bounces my heart up and down. But I often feel like I’m not very good at sharing in a way that other people understand. I feel like I’m not very good at explaining the scramble of thoughts flitting ceaselessly in my head. Like there exists in my head a probability cloud of thoughts, and whenever I start talking about one thought, my mind would have already ventured beyond to another space. And my speech tries to catch up but stumbles and leaves behind holes and missing pieces.

What even is the purpose of trying to share these thoughts? Is it vain to do so? I like how Brenda Ueland tells us that Van Gogh painted his paintings not out of a goal to be a famous painter, but out of gratitude towards the night sky, which he loved so dearly, telling his friend “it is so beautiful I must show you how it looks.” Perhaps if I write just to express this gratitude, that would be enough. And if anything I put out resonates with anyone, then all the more incredible that the product of my own expressions can end up moving someone else’s heart and even alter their life trajectory!

In any case, I must not forget that this is my heart’s yearning. When I create I am truly trying to listen to my heart, and that is a worthwhile goal. Despite the distractions, despite the failures, despite how long it takes. ▲

Published by Terry 4 years ago on Monday the 17th of August 2020.

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