I am reading Anthony Doerr’s book, Four Seasons in Rome. Like Mr. Doerr, I have recognized that life speeds along and we hurtle through space and time without seeing, without contemplating, without feeling most things. When we do slow down enough to look at the bark of a tree, the cowlick of our child’s hair, the deep red of a rose fully bloomed, we are simply stunned by the beauty. Beauty surrounds us, but we are habituated to it, desensitized to it, numb. We are comforted by the anesthesia. I lament the lack of time I have to simply think, to ponder to wonder upon a thing, an object, an act. I love the sheer simplicity of life. And in all things there is beauty and wonderment and awe. The pause isÂ theÂ residence of passion. Â When we see – truly see, we see the absolute grace of creation, the energy and the life.
Our brains cannot fully comprehend what we see, so we allow our vision to blur and move out of focus. I find that more and more, I sneak into focus. I peer with stunned rapture at the freckles on my Cameron’s face, the curl of my Evan’s eyelashes, the gracefulness of my husband’s hands. I close my eyes because the tears flow so easily, feel my breathing change, I hear my heart beat and time slows. Human existence cannot reside and function in this realm, or we would never eat or work or MOVE. We would all faint from rapture staring at the clouds. I could stare for infinity at the waves as they curl up the sand and recede into the vast ocean.
I have returned to MassÂ after a too long hiatus. The reasons for my absence are many but ridiculous. The first few times back to church, I refrained from communion. I did not feel ready to participate. Today after communion, I knelt silently and opened my heart. I felt God in me. I was both minute and infinite. I started crying and I was filled with the most profound feeling of beauty and love and sorrow and hope. It was a strange and wonderful feeling. I saw the beauty, the grace, that even a blind man could sense.Â It surrounds me.
I will continue to slip off that super sonic train that whirls me through time, blurring the wonders of the world outside. It is impossible to see anything throught the windows of my compartment. So, I will occasionally get off the train. There is no need for the non-stop trip. I will stand still on the platform and I willÂ turn around and watch the train speed away from me.Â I will see its spectacular beauty. That within it is all of humanity, thriving and living and creating and loving. Being able to see life from this perspective will make me want to get back on the train.