If We Don’t Have Beauty What Do We Have
Well, firstly, “you deserve your beautiful life” as Sarah Gambito says.
On How to Use this Book
by Sarah Gambito
You deserve your beautiful life.
Its expectant icicles, the dread forest
that is not our forest.
And yet, we meet there.
The streams streaming through us.
The leaves leaving through us.
Once I was black-haired
and I sat in my country’s lap.
I was so sure she was asking me
what I wanted.
Invite at least 15 people. It’s okay if your apartment is small. Put 7 lb of cut up chicken in the biggest pot you own with 2 parts soy sauce 2 parts vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure to completely cover the chicken. Throw in a handful of black peppercorns, lots of bay leaves, and two fistfuls of garlic cloves. Bring to a rolling boil and simmer until chicken is almost falling off the bone (around 45 minutes to 1 hour.) Place chicken on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes until the skin is crispy and slightly charred. Boil remaining liquid for 15-20 minutes to reduce and add 1 can coconut milk to make a sauce. Plate chicken and pour sauce over. Serve with so much white rice.
– from Loves You
Half the time I write this blog, I think I should be making a case for beauty, apologizing for it, talking you into the necessity, yelling on its behalf, I feel as though I should make excuses for myself, wanting it and needing it so. But if we don’t have beauty what do we have?
You deserve beauty in your life. Every single living soul does.
I believe this with all my heart: “The beauty will find you. The meaning will come.”
by Kai Carlson-Wee
Don’t go in search of the perfect word.
Don’t go looking for signs of redemption,
the purified water of gods. The language
will enter your mouth when it needs to.
The beauty will find you. The meaning
will come. Don’t go smiling. Don’t go
certain of one true voice. Go ambiguous,
lonely, disguised in the basic math. Take
nothing for granted. Escape what you are,
what you wish you will one day become.
It doesn’t matter. The skin dies. The worm
lives a whole year in darkness. The clouds
go on rising away from the falling rain.
Even the good love inside you will vanish.
The wheels will seize and the trickling stream
at the top of the mountain will carve out
a valley below. The world will give you
an opening always. The night sky. The moon
lifting over the tall and mysterious pines.
Hold out the feather you found last night
in the bracken. All it can offer is already
there in your hand.
Let me be clear. Beauty won’t save you. Poetry won’t save you. Look for it anyway. Write it anyway. Beauty will change you. Writing will change you.
As I have said in another post: “It’s the work, the practice, the imprinting of the work on your soul and on your cells that matters.”
If you’ve read Rumi and the Red Handbag, you’ll remember, perhaps, the scene where the feather arrives in an outstretched hand. Which is why I was arrested by the poem, “Bracken.”
I wrote that scene based on something that had happened to me. I was raking leaves in the backyard and a feather fell out of the sky and I slowly moved my hand out and caught it. There was a slight breeze and it floated down. I still can’t believe it really happened.
Has anything like that ever happened to you?