Sometimes beauty hurts. Maybe it even hurts most of the time.
Knowing exquisite beauty is a painful experience. It is a premonition of death. It is a foretelling of our end and of all that we will leave behind.
This morning I watched and listened to a few songs of a concert DVD that I have been playing over and over for the past month and a half. No one was awake in the house and I played two songs before I turned it off. It was too beautiful and it was hurting me.
The orchid blossoms lasted months and we marveled at their longevity – until two days ago when they began their abrupt surrender. This morning only two of the seven blossoms are left. Theirs is a last poignant burst of life before they too will start to wither and die.
I think of her and the ache begins. The ache is soft but enduring. Revolving and twisting. Turning and upturning. It rumbles through me and I am silent witness to the devastation it causes in my life and senses. It is a deep ache that is pain and also the entire purpose of my life. Without this pain there would be nothing to be attached to in this life; yet with it, the sense of impending doom — of being crushed by beauty – is overwhelming.
I could run from this feeling but I do not want to. It is the truest thing I know. True is not pretty. True is not clean. True is not admirable. It is only true — but it is a badge of honor and a bandage with which to cover one’s wounds.
Eventually we all must let go and when we mourn those who have died, we also mourn our approaching death and the death of all the things we love.
In the meantime, there is a lot of living to be done. To make our deaths worthy and valiant and terrible, then we must love many, many things between now and then.
So grab the exquisite pain while you can!