There is beauty lurking in strange places.
Between the dark cracks if you look hard like I do.
I love that feeling you get when you catch it, even more than finding beauty in something obvious.
Like a sunbeam caught in a glass jar. Snatched.
Observing something awkward, deceptively ugly. The immense beauty of the moment bubbles; surfaces and washes over. I could immerse myself in that feeling forever and a day.
I used to feel like a strange, little oddball as I secretly stole beauty and loveliness from something not so nice. Almost like a show just for me that no one else could see.
To stand on my tippy-toes and peak through the back fence when I was so small and watch out for much prettier things than the old drunk man next door, moonshine flowing whenever the moon was shining.
The dirt road and the train tracks and the cows mooing back at me. To find the little purple flowers shooting up from the gold hay. To see the crotchety drunk man’s wife patting his hand as they sat on the porch together, listening to music and remembering a time before there were broken, empty bottles at their feet.
To see a chime catching in the sunlight by a window even but for a moment, while yelling and hissing and hurting falls down around you.
A warm smile between the bleach and the tubes and machines and the dying of a cold grey hospital room.
I find it odd that I see these little tiny things, in moments when I shouldn’t. I also find myself looking around at everyone else to see if they see it too, excited by the notion that they must have caught at least a glimpse.
I can’t help but notice the way my husband’s eyes have flecks of green amidst the blue when he is exasperated by me. The way he has a teeny, tiny triangle-shaped wrinkle on his forehead when he is angry. It makes me want nothing more than to kiss it a thousand times over.
The plump, wrinkled lady with silvery hair, on a thick November day at the beach. Slipping and sliding all over a paddle-board to some may be funny; bulbous, and ugly. To me though it is pure poetry. Her sparkling eyes and her confidence as she decides to choose fun over vanity and learn a new trick. Steadying herself, soft tanned skin showing many years of salt and sand. Pulling herself through the crisp, cool water. Waves sparkling like her eyes in the glow of the sluggish, low afternoon sun. So much beauty in that laugh as she slaps down in the water. Complete delight and oblivion.
I have watched so much gorgeous, soft light cast across an autumn afternoon; Even more beautiful though as it lingers over a movie screen, whilst a frantic protagonist is in the midst of love leaving. Who fights and claws to stop it all falling to the ground. Doing and saying anything to not leave this space in time without her. Yanking and pulling at her as she stands rigid and numb and completely spent. With nothing left to give. That moment - so devastating to them; completely takes my breath away. And I don’t really understand why.
So here I find myself, sitting. Sunlight through the window; my husband’s wrinkled brow and flecks beside me, he is concentrating, I am not.
I see nothing beautiful in this moment and it is the most important moment for it to be.
I search for it, easily distracted by my hunt as I completely tune out to what the nurse is detailing in a monotone voice. Anything pretty and magical on the walls? On the desk? In the diagrams, she is flicking through? Only more monotone and grey. And fear.
I cannot muster any kind of romance or dreaminess from the blood tests and the injections and the uncertainty. I don’t even like the air in the room. It is like I am on a conveyor belt, a doll missing a part and I am being pushed along with different hands seeing if they can fix me in time before it is all too late and I get shoved onto the heap.
We are then pushed into another room. This time it is painted a depressing yellow – I never knew until now, how depressing yellow can be. Here surrounded by buttercup, more ugly information is fed to us both. My husband and his flecks nodding and asking all the right things as I dart my eyes around this new space. Nothing to savour here either. Robotic empathy and a nervous tick, is all I see.
Until we are pushed back out again and I close the car door with a thud and remember what we are doing this all for.
Until my husband’s hand takes mine. This is why we are together. Because he knows I long for beauty in between the cracks and he shows it to me. Pulling me along until I get to where I long to be.
As corny as it sounds, it always seems to work.
Emma Kate xoxo