Friday, June 27, 2014

Simply Put

Roses are glorious, as are orchids. Peacocks, sunrises, exotic fish. Sometimes, however, I think the simplest things are the most beautiful of all. This flower, for instance, or the tiny pink tongue of a newborn baby.
            I wonder, therefore, why we so often try to complicate matters with high heels, various shades of eye shadow, fabrics, fashions and accessories. Is a mixed bouquet more worthy than a simple, white violet? Does a single stalk of lily of the valley count less than a field of wildflowers?
            At times, I feel as if the answer might be yes. Certainly, I’d give more merit to a book by Tolstoy than one by yours truly. But…is a quiet little poem less intriguing than an epic? Sometimes a Rumi quote holds more weight (in my heart, anyway), than lengthier, more intricate writings. Sometimes, a single sentence, uttered in just the right way by just the right person, means more than a speech given by an “expert.”
            Of course, it’s wonderful that we can choose. We can select from a menu, for instance, the complex paella, or a simple cucumber soup. We can choose to listen to a Mahler symphony or a solo Bonsai flute. We can decide whether we want to take a tour of the world, or be content with a quiet canoe ride on a familiar river. We can dress to the nines, or throw on our jeans and old T-shirt.
            I love the exciting, stimulating array of colors, scents, languages, possibilities, places, and people that make up the world. But I have to admit, when I manage to focus on only one thing—one green leaf, one tiny piece of chocolate, one child’s hand—it can lead me straight to the seed of the wonder of life, without any side trips, distractions, or confusion. There is an elegant, wordless beauty to things that don’t cry out for attention—to things that are just simply and quietly… here, now.


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