how can we not

howcanwenotI discovered some photos on the Internet, which I found sifting through one website, and then another, and then another – you know how surfing can go. They were amazing – photos of the United States’ southwest, gorgeous skies, cactus, stark beauty, harsh and lovely. The photographer had captured everything so well, the sentiment of the moment clearly conveyed in every shot. A story told in every picture. Colors and subject, all perfectly rendered, perfectly delivered. And I was transported.

And I thought, how lovely this earth is. At every point, in every way, all over – even in the supposed down-trodden areas – every place has its beauty, because every place is filled, in some part, with life. And humanity. And this is all beautiful.

To look at a certain place and feel hollow, alone, afraid, sullen and sad, is not a reflection of the place itself, but a reflection of us. We see through subjective eyes, through eyes that may not understand, or follow, or see through the external, physical world. We perceive our world in our own way, and sometimes that perception isn’t pleasant. Sometimes we don’t see the beauty, the intrinsic humanity of the world. We miss the disarming clarity of nature, the open arms of joy.

But, how can we not? How can we not look at everything here on earth and feel love, see the beauty, breathe in the experience of life? How can we not? Everything is so precious. Everything is.

I find that when I’m feeling lost, I must step outside myself and look at things from a new perspective. One that puts no judgment on what I see and feel. And sometimes I can do it. Not always, but sometimes. I can observe and understand that this world holds so much beauty, and sometimes it might be a sad beauty, but it is all glorious – because it is real. And that is enough.

Many new and old friends have helped to shape me, and lately I’ve been paying strict attention to my shaping. The Shaping of Me, the title for my next (really strange) book. I’ve been forming myself, as if out of clay, molding and turning my inner core in my hands, until I come up with something that might work. And then it’s back to the drawing board again, and I re-shape, re-think. And maybe this is how it will always and forever be. Maybe I’ll never get myself into that perfect form.

Maybe it’s the process that is essential and more to the point. Process, not product – the process of finding life being just as important as the actual conquest. Chasing figures in the dark, but when somebody switches on the light, it turns out that the figures are me. The treasure, the prize, was actually me the entire time.

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