Friday, February 27, 2009

desiring beauty

desiring beauty
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
I think it’s probably common, if not normal for people to face each day desiring to be confronted with beauty. Certainly, I begin each day with that very conscious desire.
Of course not only to see, feel, and experience beauty, but even
to know beauty,
to create beauty,

speak beauty –

to BE beautiful.

I want to be beautiful!

Maybe that’s a confession, or maybe it is simply admitting something that
everyone already knows about me –
something that everyone knows about everyone.

We all want to be beautiful.

Truly though, I have none of my own. Nor do you, I’m pretty sure. Realizing this shortly after I wake, I revert to my original desire of being confronted with beauty. I don’t have to settle for encountering beauty. Confrontation, that’s what I want.
Don’t walk by, Rod, face it head-on. There’s plenty of it out there midst the broken, fallen, decaying mediocrity. We walk by it every day. That’s what encountering amounts to - walking by.
Confrontation stops you in your tracks.

“My that’s beautiful,” you have to say.
And you take it with you ruminate over it throughout the day.

Who knows? If beauty confronts me often enough, and I’m wise enough to grapple with it, perhaps some will rub off, sink in, spill out and perhaps one day, if I’m very very blessed,
I might be able to confront someone myself someday.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

being beautiful

being beautiful
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
Suppose you learned you would become beautiful for 18 hours.
Suppose your time came to be beautiful and you found yourself locked up all alone in an empty building during your entire beauty period. Maybe you’d press your face to the window and scream, “look at me, I’m beautiful! It’s fleeting, Don’t miss it!” But since you’re stuck on the 5th floor, no one could see you anyway.
Even though you’re all alone, the 18 hours would no doubt fly by much faster than you’d like. Probably, toward the end of your beautiful period, you’d begin to realize that you weren’t made beautiful for people to see. Being seen beautiful may have nothing to with being beautiful. Regardless of how long it took you to figure it out, you realize that it is good that you’ve learned that if you’re beautiful, it is important just to be beautiful (emphasis on BE), whether or not anyone is looking. If you truly realized this, when you returned to normal, you may find that you are still beautiful.


Monday, February 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by rod lewis
If you're a symbol person, symbols aren't just for your own good, but also, you can become a symbol for others around you.
Saturday I was reading N.T. Wright, and he said, when people aren't surrounded by beauty, they begin to lose hope.

Though, I'm not beautiful myself, I can certainly bring beauty to where it has long since gone missing.
Honestly, I think most people are about symbols as much as I am. There are symbols on display everywhere. Everyone seems to express beauty or the lack thereof. We've all got something to say.
There are places into which you can walk and have your breath taken by the decay, neglect, disrespect, and abuse.
Here is one. But I called it beautiful, took it's photo, and you agreed. Some things can become beautiful simply by being called beautiful. Space can be reclaimed, and ruin, reborn.

Early Sunday morning the sun rose across the Canal and Congaree River and shone it's light through these huge shattered windows. It does it ever morning.
I guess I could continue to let the sun rise on the forgotten, or I could go provide a soundtrack for the inevitable.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

growing young

It’s still fifteen days until Ash Wednesday, yet I woke this morning with the reminder pressed in my mind. “Remember, you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

I really like old places and old things. There is a beauty in decay that equalizes grandeur. We humans experience it quickly. The Jock and Cheerleader deteriorate at the same rate as the Bookworm. Ten years out, and the only difference is the beer belly and upholstery print below the elbows, versus the increasingly thicker glasses.

Truly, Alles Fleisch, Es Ist Wie Gras.

I used to walk into old buildings and feel like I was walking into the past. Listening closely, one can hear the din of voices and noise of busyness from a long forgotten time. Looking closely, remnants of frozen moments can be found – a hairpin in a corner, a button wedged under a protruding baseboard.
This is something I still love to do, but the meaning has broadened to include not only glimpses and fantasies of the past, but also reminders of the future.

So goes all things.

Peeling paint, warping boards, rotting siding, sagging eves, are not only evidence of a past, but they were once the cruel promises of a future – and they are still promises - always kept.
Indeed, the knowledge of this truth creeps ever closer, day-by-day. And I feel them in numerous ways each day the sun treks across sky, moving ever faster with each new sunrise. But this is only true of the façade.

On the inside, I’m being replenished. I’m renewed with each sunrise rather than depleted. The decaying old me is being replaced. I’ve found the secret of regeneration. A new me is growing.
This is a process, folks – it takes time. As death is lazy, taking our bodies slowly, life is punctilious, using the passing years to meticulously imbue every soul-fiber with depth, wisdom, and dependence. It doesn’t happen overnight. In my case, the wisdom bit is particularly slow, but the dependence bit makes up for it.
If there is a one thing in life that I’m good at, one task that I’m equal to, it is waiting.
Today, at 45, I’m looking ahead to the completion of my aging process. I’m a bit sad that it’s manifest with sags and wrinkles and aches and pains, but I’ve got stamina that you wouldn’t believe. And I’ll wait until I’m finished growing young.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

reflections of the future

reflections of the future
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
everything, as it decays,
reflects the future


Sunday, February 01, 2009

3 valves

3 valves
Originally uploaded by rod lewis
All of life seems more easily understood if we create broad categories. If we find ourselves all in the same general context, we assume that we all have the same role, and thus, should all look the same.
The subtleties are behind the scenes.
Perhaps our jobs are all the same on some level, but the details of our jobs constitute a more precise level and at that point we are differentiated from the details of others'.
At this level, it is very important that we not be confused with others around us, that we not confuse ourselves with others around us. Even if we are in the minority, it could be that the minority is the absolute most indispensable aspect of the whole.