One of my friend’s just returned home with her family from a two-week trip to the United Kingdom. They saw a great many things and ate a great many ice cream cones. I was able to follow some of their journey through the eyes of their 10-year-old who blogged about their trip and through the pictures that her husband posted along the way.
Seeing snapshots of their trip helped a ton. It made the distance seem smaller. The ocean between our families less expansive.
The first night they were gone , I had a dream that since i was in the ‘neighborhood'(the neighborhood being, Ireland), I went to their lodge to drop off something that they had left behind in North Carolina. It just so happened to be their very high maintainance australian shepherd named “Diggory.” The one who eats and shreds doors when he’s anxious because of a thunderstorm looming in the distance…like in Oklahoma.
With a few days left of their vacation, i received an email from my friend that i cannot get out of my mind. As a matter of fact, i felt like i was there too as she described a scene to me that was simply too beautiful for words.
“Dear Carrie, London was amazing. I definitely would go back, gladly. I thought of you when we were in one of the subway tunnels, heading to our platform. You leave the sunny day, walk down the steps to the underground (which may our may not smell like a toilet) tunnel and suddenly, there was the perfect pitch of a violin street performer …. it was so beautiful … I could hear it perfectly in that tunnel about a hundred yards before I could see him. Anyway, he was playing either a la miserables piece or something from Phantom of the Opera. Had I stopped walking to soak it in any deeper, I would have cried, it was so striking .”
I know lots of people who can speak beauty without using words. I’ve seen them communicate what was going on inside of them with a camera, a dance, a paint brush, a gardening spade, a sewing machine, a piece of wood, a cake, a guitar or violin, and a computer. i even have one friend who speaks volumes just with her laugh. It’s how she grounds me and tells me that everything is going to be ok. Even if it isn’t ok….i feel alright. anchored in some way.
It is amazing to me how we are all created to create. And to be moved by another’s masterpiece or by one we birth ourselves. There is a gravitational pull of our souls towards beauty. Towards what shapes us and helps us to reveal what is inside our hearts.
It is sad though that the older we get, the seemingly less opportunity and time is afforded for us to pursue such endeavors. It is ironic that our time does, in fact, get loaded up with something. Often its things that do not move us or inspire, but just simply….’fills.’. I wonder why that happens. Why are we so easily satisfied? Why are we so easily distracted?
My hope is that we can all slow down at some point, and allow ourselves to take in life around us. Mostly, to take in the One who created us and the life around us.
I love the idea of my friend being surprised by beauty in an unlikely place. in an underground tunnel that may or may have smelled like a bathroom. I love how it made her feel alive all of a sudden. It reminded me of why i am trying to pursue learning the violin myself in my mid 30’s. Because, i also long to be able to speak without words.
A Girl of the Limberlost (a book my girls and i read last year)by. Gene Stratton-Porter pg.116
“When the music swelled from the orchestra her heart almost broke with throbbing joy. For music always had affected her strangely, and since she had been comfortable enough in her surroundings to notice things, she had listened to every note to find what it was that literally hurt her heart, and at last she knew. It was the talking of the violins. They were human voices, and they spoke a language she understood. It seemed to her that she must climb up on the stage, take the instruments from the fingers of the players and make them speak what was in her heart. She fairly prayed to get a hold of one, if only for a second.”