I'm reading Ann Voscamp's book, One Thousand Gifts. I like it because she talks mainly about how the root of our inner struggles and discontentment have to do with ingratitude. She uses the word Eucharisteo as in giving thanks for everything, I mean everything. Having that be the way of the eyes, the way we see things. I really like this book. But what's surprised me the most is a chapter where she starts talking about beauty. I rarely hear authors talk about it, or people for that matter, so it has been a lovely surprise! I finally feel like I can relate to someone when it comes to chasing beauty, and having it be all consuming.
See, I've always felt like my hunt for beauty is a burden. It feels so heavy sometimes, my fervent search for all things beautiful, good or bad, happy or sad, hard or easy, nature or people. I'm constantly seeking beauty. And because most people around me don't operate that way, it can be a challenge. People don't seem to understand. I feel out of place. I feel silly and down right dumb sometimes because of my "child like" ways. So when I was reading this book, I felt a huge relief, "I'm not alone! There are others that are freaks just like me!"
Ever since I can remember, and I've asked my parents too (they said since I was a toddler), I have appreciated, sought out and got excited in the beauty of things. Whatever it might be. I could be in amazement over the stars, like literally where I can't move on or function until I feel I can grasp their beauty and wonder. Or other countries for instance. I am in awe of the uniqueness and the beauty they hold. Or our creation, all around us; in animals, trees, flowers, insects, snow, rain, clouds, grass, the moon of course and the air itself! Or in museums, or art galleries, or musical instruments--it all amazes me! Every function of every living thing blows my mind.
"All beauty is only reflection." Ann Voscamp
I wonder all the time why I am like this! It's a burden because sometimes, a lot of times, I hold people up, meaning I take longer when it comes to so many things, whether I'm taking pictures, staring at something or simply just enjoying what's before me. People also think I'm different or weird, maybe even silly. But I don't plan it to be this way, it just is. Here is an excellent quote by C.S. Lewis that helps explain my inner:
"What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more--something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words--to be untied with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become a part of it."
Beauty is the way of the inner eye. Ann Voscamp in One Thousand Gifts
I don't think I'll settle down in my quest for beauty. Beauty around me, beauty in people, beauty in what's broken--anything in my life or what is around me, I want to see it, and experience it. I crave it. I long for it in the depths. For me, it's the only way to live. The only way to function. The only way to breathe.