Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the beauty of people around me.
I mean, sure. Aesthetically pleasing. But this, this is a different kind of beauty. The beauty of shadows and light. Complex expressions on the edge of sight.
The way he bends. The way she turns her head. The way they smile, sleepily, curled up in blue.
It’s a raw beauty, a moment of open. A paradoxical slice of refinement and realness. The kind of beauty that makes my heart ache.
Oh. There. There you are, a sparkling tap brimming behind your eyes. I see you.
It’s these little glimpses, small windows into the soul of another person. The golden threads between their hearts and mine that pulse brighter, not in the absence of struggle, but in the way the shadows give the light something to press against. The way I feel, intricately, the woven spools of Rumpelstiltskin, fine threads of gold made from scraped-together bits of ordinary lives.
We are, all of us, greater than the sum of our parts.
And so I look, and look, craning my neck for these moments, the ones that pull my breath from my lungs through blunt force to my gut. The ones that hold the emotions of a messy heart on the lines and edges of a smile, the ones that cup these sifting waters into the condensation rings of irises. My hands are stained, soaked red where my fingers grazed the edge of another person’s heart. I paint my skin with blood and wash it clean with cool, gentle tears that fall like springtime rain on the buds of new life forming.
This is life, this messy conglomeration of laughter and letting the hard pieces rise to the surface. If we catch the smallest glimpse into another person’s soul, even once, we are more fortunate than words can name. To grasp these threads, to trace our fingertips through the surface of someone else’s skin, to hold in the quiet stillness of broken light, to memorize the angles and curves in hands brushing again and again the shape of a face until we remember the nuances of dip and line when they are gone… to feel a body collapse into itself and curl within my arms and give me leave to hold them, that… that is a kind of beauty language cannot name, because language is the tool of the senses and this goes beyond what is tactile and brushes the edge of what is real.
To love, with the fragmented corners of a raw and weary heart is one thing. But to be bathed in love, to hold trust and tenderness within the limitations of this fragile skin, to see what is offered and know that we are unequivocally, unapologetically loved is to hold the sun in our hands.
I am burning, burning up in love and tenderness and care, burning and brimming and spilling over with so much beauty. It is- it always was- the light and the dark, the contrast and push, the unknown and the seen. A snapshot moment, a miniscule glimpse, a fraction of a second and- oh. There you are. I see you, and you see me, and in this moment, for this moment, I can believe.