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In Need of Beauty

I started writing a different piece this month.

Halfway through an essay on how everyday racism bubbles up among good people, I stopped.

“That’s fine,” I thought. “I’m ahead of my deadline on this. I’ll finish it up in a few days and be good to go.”

The essay still isn’t finished. It will be, eventually, but not in time for this month’s essay deadline. I could do my professional duty on it, but with this topic, I want to include as much nuance as is possible in 1200 words.

My head needs to be fully committed. So does my heart.

And my heart isn’t in it right now.

Right now, I feel tired. Not tired of everything, mind you. But tired of important topics. Tired of news cycles. Tired of in-fighting. Tired of politics. Tired of hustle. Tired of fascism. Tired of inequity. Tired of police killings. Tired of murders. Tired of oppression. Tired of racism. Tired of sexism. Tired of transmisogyny. Tired of the litanies of hopelessness, hatred, and fear that scroll across my Facebook and Twitter feeds.

I need a break from it. Just for a small while.

I want to listen to the birds, and the rustle of the trees, and the cars going on their way. I want to ask the squirrel why it is so upset today. What in the world is it chuck chucking at? I want to feel the spring air.

My friend, the musician Sharon Knight, reminds us that beauty and lifting one another up are choices.

In a world that is trying to grind us all down, I want to take refuge in beauty.

This doesn’t mean that I’ll forget my suffering brothers, sisters, and siblings. It just means that I’ll refill the well of my soul for awhile, before re-entering the fray.

We need this. We all need this. Especially those of us who work hard for others every day. And even those of us who don’t.

What in you is longing for a rest? A break? Some beauty?

Can you take an hour or so and fill the well of your heart, mind, body, and soul?

I invite us all to pause today. Find a piece of art to look at. Listen to some music. Dance. Go for a walk. Laugh. Brush your hand against a tree. Smell the ocean. Find one flower. Kiss a friend. Watch the sky. Read something that gives you pleasure.

Easy as it is to forget sometimes, the world is not only hustle or suffering.

The world is filled with beauty. Sometimes it is small, and hard to catch. But it is there. In someone’s face. In the way the sun hits a building. Even in the most squalid, depressed conditions, beauty finds a way.

I hope that today, beauty finds its way to you. And that you rest in it awhile.

copyright T. Thorn Coyle, May 2016


This is reader-funded writing.

I give thanks to all of my Patreon supporters, who donate every month so I can offer one essay and one short story to the general public for free.

I give thanks to brand new patrons San, Miriam, Leslie, and to ongoing supporters Sharon, Mary Anne, Joanna, Tony, Angela, Constance, Stone, Omorka, Unwoman, Shemandoah, Sarah, Rain, Cid, Alley, Mica, Christine, Vyviane, Katie, Emilie, Louise, Victoria, Greg, Ealasaid, Jennifer, Louise, Rose, Starr, Sinead, Lyssa, Aeptha, Cara, Crystal, Angela, Misha, Eridanus, Cheryl, Lori, Soli, Peter, Angela, Ambariel, Sonia, Jennifer, Ruth, Miranda, Jeremy, Jonah, Michelle, Jenny, Jen, Mir, Ruth, Emilie, Jonathan, Kate, Roger & Nancy.

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