Friday, July 31, 2009

A New Way of Looking At Things

In my last post I mentioned opera and the beauty that my Aunt Alice saw in it. Well I don't know if it's the new daddy in me or maybe just a part of getting older, being more mature or just a little more boring (okay a lot more boring), but whatever the reason might be, I'm starting to see and hear beauty in things that I just didn't see or pay attention to in the past. Granted many of them have to do with my daughter but not all.

Beauty in Civility

Coming out of a gas station the other day, I watched as an older woman backed her car into a younger woman's car. To minor to call an accident but a little too harsh to call a fender bender but just enough to shake the old lady up and even though she was clearly the victim the younger woman got out and consoled the older woman trying to comfort her and keep her calm. These days in this finger pointing society we live in, it was beauiful to see someone put "the blame" on the backburner for the sake of someone elses well-being.

Beauty in Dependancy

Every once and a while when they're not looking, I look over at my girls (fiance and daughter) and I watch as they look at each other adoringly, neither one blinking and it hits me that mother has become just as dependant on her child's touch as the child is to hers. It's a beautiful thing.

Beauty in Incoherence

Zari is starting to make all kinds of noises and sounds, a bunch of sighs and coos that just melt her Daddy's heart every time he hears them. With no rhyme or reason, no logical explanation for why she makes one noise when she's sleepy and another when she's happy and then the next day it's reversed, none of it matters because every sweet little sound is music to my ears.

Beauty in 96

The 96th mile of my daily commute ends back in my driveway facing my home that I've missed all day. My sanctuary that I've longed for since the moment I left. After 96 miles of driving, the moment I turn that key and walk through the door I get to leave the stress and the drama of the day sitting on the front porch to wait for me until the morning when I'll recover them for another round. I've never been so happy to see the number 96 as I am when I see it on my way home everyday.

Beauty in Blessings

I've always enjoyed looking at old pictures from the past, they always put a smaile on my face. But now when I look at them and draw on old memories I also realize what a blessing it was to be able to have the good times I've had with friends, family, the places I've been, things I've seen, etc. When it's happening, it's all about that moment, but later down the road I guess that's when you start to really appreciate how lucky or blessed you were to have those experiences.

Beauty in Dirty Diapers

Hey, when you have a birthing experience like we did, you want everything to be exactly as it should be. If it involves tthe baby, then it should look right, sound right, smell right, be on time, be the right temperature, beep when it should, not beep when it shouldn't, etc. So if it's been a couple days since her last soiled diaper, then when it finally comes, we call it beautiful in this house.

Beauty in Escape

When I'm in the heart of the aforementioned 48 mile commute home I also have the pleasure of sitting in 2 mph traffic for the most part of the journey and after an 8 hour day at work, isn't that what we all look forward to? Not quite. But thanks to a playlist on my iPod titled "Making it Home" filled with soft piano tuns and nature sounds (rain, birds, beaches, etc.) I can roll up my windows and turn the volume up and almost enjoy my time in the car. To be able to separate myself from the madness while I'm right in the middle of it is my salvation.

So like I said, these days I'm finding beauty all over the place and these were just a few examples. I wonder if it's just me or if you took the time to really look for it if you'd find beauty in some crazy places too.

You might be surprised.


Friday, July 24, 2009

But Now I'm Found

Have you ever heard someone say, "it's like I've lost a piece of myself" or "a part of me has died" after they've lost someone close to them? I've heard it here and there in real life and seen it plenty times in the movies but I've never been able to really relate to it.

Until July 21st 2009.

Someone very close to me passed away a few months ago and as expected it hit me and most of my family pretty hard, dealing with the loss of this special person, facing the reality of never being able to hug her again or feel the warmth from one of her smiles was and still remains a struggle. But just like at the end of any relationship, each day that goes by hurts just a little bit less, even if just by a fraction.

But coping with the loss and living through the stages of grief in my own private ways I never once felt like, "part of me is dead" or "I'm not the same person I once was when this person was still here."

Until July 21st 2009.

I remember walking into my aunt's bedroom as a little boy and being baffled by what she was watching on television. It was an opera on the local Public Broadcast Station. I stared as she sat completely entranced and attentive to what was going on in the production. So finally I mustered up the nerve to ask her, "why are you watching this?" and she replied, "it's beautiful honey." And that was all she needed to say. I don't know if it was because of how much I loved this woman or because of how highly I regarded her, but that was all it took for me to sit down beside her and make a feeble attempt at appreciating what I thought was something weird and far from beautiful.

So we sat there and she tried to explain everything and translate the strange language and eventually, I did indeed.....fall asleep. And although I was unable to ever really appreciate opera of any sort, I continued to at least try to see the same beauty in it that she saw. For the next 20+ years, I can't say that I went out of my way to find opera but in the event that I came across it accidentally, I would pause and take a moment to try and catch a glimpse of the beauty before I moved on to something more enjoyable. But sadly, my aunt and I grew apart geographically and as usual, time and distance damaged the relationship that I cherished so much which made it easier for me to forget why I even bothered looking for the hidden beauty in "The ThreePenny Opera" or "A Night at the Chinese Opera".

Until July 21st 2009.

As I drove to work that morning, (July 21st) I searched the radio airwaves for anybody playing anything other than commercials or Michael Jackson tributes. Normally I don't have this issue but on this day my iPod battery was dead because I had forgotten to charge it the night before. So as I scanned the airwaves, as the auto search stopped on one of those radio stations in the 800's and right away I recognized a familiar "weirdness". It was an opera. Almost instinctively my finger reached out to set the station and stop the auto search from moving on. And after only seconds it dawned on me that driving had become more difficult because of the tears filling up in my eyes. It was like 30 years of fond memories and love had smacked me in the face and reminded me of something that connected me to this person in a way that no one else was a part of.

I was foolish enough to think that turning my back on opera, or my quest to understand it was a way to avoid dealing with me not being with my aunt even before she passed but I was wrong. I see now that struggling through a few minutes of "The Mask of Orpheus" was how I could always feel close to her. It was my way of keeping her alive in my own way and one day if I'm lucky enough to actually see that elusive beauty then I can pass that appreciation on to my daughter, ensuring my aunt's legacy even further.

So yes, I can relate now to people, both real and cinematic when they say, "I loved her so much, that I lost part of myself when I lost her", because even though I didn't realize it, that's exactly what happened to me.

Until July 21st 2009.