I once took a figure drawing class where I spent about four hours staring at one person. He was a middle aged man with grey hair and a pony tail on the nape of his neck. As I looked at him hour after hour, I eventually realized that he was beautiful. It was a fact. It was objectively true–the wrinkles on his face, the shape of his eyes, the curve of his jaw. I don’t mean this to say he was handsome, though would now say that he was, this man was a piece of art.
I can’t even count how many faces I see over the course of the day. Of real, human, faces, I likely see, from 5-50. Who knows how many virtual faces I see, but it is a bit scary that I now see more virtual faces than real ones, and of those virtual faces, I would guess half of them to be digitally enhanced in some way.
So all this to say, I see so many faces all the time, that I didn’t even realize I had probably never really looked at one until that drawing class. That’s scary. Might I not have EVER really looked at another human face? Perhaps not since my own cradle had I stared so long at anyone. It began to occur to me that perhaps I had missed out. Perhaps I did not really know what anyone looked like. Perhaps everyone was beautiful, and I had never looked at anyone long enough to notice.
As I notice my clothes, what I mostly notice is how quickly they are decaying. Hems come undone, stains seem to show up out of nowhere. My clothes are dying. There are many other things in my life that are living, the hibiscus tree that is growing on my patio, the Thai Basil that seemingly resurrected from nothing, and my dear roommate, who I see new light of life in everyday since ending a very difficult season.
The truth is that everything is beautiful and new. Most of the time we move so quickly through life, we don’t even notice. Most of us, if we were to slow down to notice, would quickly find ourselves bored because we are so unpracticed at discovering this newness all around. It takes work, and the instant gratification of a cheap clothing purchase, the appearance of that little red rectangle on the corner of a Facebook page, and the smash bang adrenaline rush from a summer blockbuster, keep us weak and distracted from the simple, yet profound task of considering the lily, and the peaceful, anxiety free, life that is its fruit.
Look a little longer at life. You may see something new.