Monday, December 2, 2013

True Beauty

True beauty is something very difficult to put down on paper.  Think about it for a while.  What really is beauty? After you think about this start moving towards true beauty and the definition becomes even more clouded.  Each of us has a different perspective of what we think is beautiful which comes from our history, exposures, and experience with things in this world.  Simply put, beauty is a very subjective word.

Sunset on December 1, 2013 taken from my front porch 
I have been around the world.  I have seen poverty.  I have seen wealth.  I have seen places where the color of my skin was foreign to the people I was visiting.  I have been called mzungu and gringo.  I have seen things first hand that most people cannot even imagine other than things read in a book or seen on TV (if they are lucky enough to have these resources).  At the same time I believe I have a sense of beauty that is very different from anyone else's that may have also travelled the world.  Unfortunately, I did not realize this when I was travelling the world.  I have taken all these experiences for granted and did not learn what true beauty really is.

So what is true beauty?  True beauty is a feeling.  I define beauty in terms of how it makes me feel - not how attractive something is.   A feeling of passion, attraction, emotion, and fascination defines true beauty for me.  This can be in a person, place, or thing.  This can be seen, felt, tasted, or heard.  I am discovering that true beauty surrounds me everyday and with luck I can allow it to slow down my mind and calm or excite my emotions.

Unfortunately I have not always had this ability to see true beauty.  It was the advent of camera phones that sparked the realization of true beauty inside of me.  Without my ability to capture images and post them here, on Instagram, and Facebook, I do not think I would have discovered true beauty.  Sure I would see things like stunning sunsets, gorgeous women, art, and snakes that could be defined as beautiful but I was not seeing and feeling the true beauty of my world.  My addiction to taking photos has made it possible for me to record my daily experiences which ultimately has reached the dark places of my mind to show me that this world really has many, many things that are truly beautiful.
Now it is time to travel to world again to see and feel with photos what I have been missing or looking over in my life.  Before I do, I am going to let you into my mind briefly to see true beauty as I see it right now.

Snakes - As you probably already know, I find snakes stunningly beautiful - this includes all snakes even the ugly ones.  But is this superficial opinion a representation of true beauty?  Snakes are much, much more to me - they have an ability to change my mental state when I see, feel, and hold snakes.  Snakes are true beauty because I have a physical and emotional attachment to them.

Dawn - Dawn is true beauty.  Dawn wakes me up and refreshes me to tackle the new day.  I am recharged at the sight of the first light creeping above the horizon.  The light of dawn can have amazing colors that rival the best sunsets.  The air is crisp and fresh at dawn.  I typically see first light on my way to work each morning.  I have lost my dawns for the next two months as the days creep longer towards the winter solstice and then renew to longer days.  This time of year is the hardest on me but with this blog I am actually excited for the solstice and what comes afterward in 2014.  For now I will focus on the early morning calls of the Great Horned Owls, coyotes, and songbirds in my neighborhood in the pre-dawn hour.  These sounds can bring true beauty to the darkness of winter.

Colorado Dawn
Running - Running is true beauty.  I forget this when I fall into my black hole and quit running.  Why do I do this to myself?  Running is a beauty that makes me so happy.  Running is full of emotion:  happiness when outdoors on single-track trails; joy when I am alone with only my thoughts to distract me; pain when powering up a hill; love when I am running with Heather or another friend; satisfaction when a run is over; sadness that the run is over; and, anticipation for the next run.  Running is also absolute beauty in addition to true beauty but that will have to be another blog post.

The places I run are amazing!
Myself - As I move through this journey of my 40th year, I am learning that I am true beauty.  I am finding ways to communicate with myself, express myself, stand up for myself, like myself, and love myself.  This is true beauty.  Here are my legs just in case you have forgotten about them.

Family - Throughout my life, I have struggled having any sort of relationship with my family.  I kept quiet and withdrawn although I will bet my siblings may say otherwise.  Maybe this is because I was the youngest.  Maybe this was because of how I turned any emotion into myself instead of sharing it.  Maybe this was because I wanted to hide from disappointing anyone and everyone.  Who knows what happened but now as a father I am finding true beauty in my family.  I get to experience things for the first time again through the eyes of my boys.  I get to hold them.  I get to kiss them.  I get to love Heather and my boys knowing that they all will love me unconditionally no matter how broken I may feel at times.  As I grow myself, I will be learning to extend this feeling of true beauty to the rest of my family who I love but have not seen with true beauty.

My Family
Friends - As I have written in previous blogs, I have had trouble understanding friendships, how to make them, and how to keep them (see Southern Fried Chicken).  My best friend Trevor and his family spent Thanksgiving with us last week and then came back the next day to play Frisbee golf with the boys on Black Friday.  We then had a few beers as we enjoyed the sun that afternoon starting off in the backyard, moving to the front yard, and eventually ending up on the roof as we chased the sun for warmth.  Trevor reminded me that I do have friends and showed me the true beauty of our friendship.  Our friendship has lasted over 20 years with some amazing experiences shared and stories over-exaggerated.  True Beauty.

Chasing the sun with my Roof Friends - Trevor and my brother David
Friends 2 - I have another friend who struggles in many ways similar to me.  I have even had to physically drag him out of his house before just to get him into the sun.  He has since moved away from me and I find myself worrying about him a lot.  He is alone with only his girlfriend to support him in a strange city.  We occasionally will get into texting battles or connect on Facetime but I miss him.  It took him moving away for me to see the true beauty we share as friends.

Friends 3 - I have to add this category for a number of reasons.  I am looking forward to the true beauty of developing deep and meaningful relationships with new people. This includes people near and far; people I share a snake passion with; people I share fitness goals with; people I already know but have not learned to find friendship with yet; people who touch me emotionally through my blog; people who I just have to meet because they intrigue me.  These are the friends that I may never meet but can still count them as friends.  I would have NEVER even considered this before I started writing my blog.  NEVER!  But somehow I am opening the door to friendships no matter where they come from.  I believe I am starting to see the value and true beauty of what friendships mean and how to express my love to people outside of my inner circle.

Sunrise sent to me by a friend I have never met
True beauty includes all things that I just don't see but that make me feel and experience happiness.  I want to travel the world and capture these feelings of true beauty on film (okay - digital media).  I am ready to see the true beauty of all things.  I take pictures daily.  I share these with friends and family.  This has shown me the true beauty in many, many things.  Each one has its own feeling and meaning to me.  True beauty surrounds our lives but it has taken me 39 years to see and feel it. 

New friends in the true beauty of the swamps of south Florida looking for the South Florida Rainbow Snake

No comments:

Post a Comment