So what are the things that make us beautiful?
My mother is a beautiful woman. She's small and thin and she has a really big smile, bigger than mine. She can be a horrible woman, and she can be a protective, warm, and loving woman. But what makes her beautiful? What makes anyone beautiful?
We talk about the glow of an expectant mother. To her, life might be miserable at the moment, because of morning sickness and swollen ankles, but they do have that glow, most of them. It's strange because it's not a physical glow, but the way they smile and hold their stomachs, like they found something wonderful. Instinctive protectiveness and a sort of love that defies vomiting and waddling when you walk. I only vaguely remember my mother getting pregnant, so I don't know if she had that glow. My cognizant memory begins a little while before splintered_soul was born, and I was an emotional mess around the time my mother began to show with Matt, because my great-grandmother had died and we were preparing to move to Korea. Well, maybe not an emotional mess, but there were changes in my perception, and my mother's pregnancy wasn't an issue in my life. I was aware that another child was being born, but that's all I really remember. I don't know if I got really excited and tried to listen to the baby. And my mother was ill for most of that pregnancy, as my dad told me.
Is it because we fall in love with someone? Not just romantic love, but with our children, our friends, our parents, with open fields and busy city streets, a random stranger who catches our eye or the coffee-person who always remembers to bring you two sugars.
Does our beauty lie with how we laugh? I have an annoying laugh. I have an annoying voice, because I sound like I have something stuck in the back of my throat. Is it our voice in general, the way we speak, the way we think? I don't have an especially beautiful mind. It gets rather violent at times, actually. It's the yin-yang thing a lot of people have; there's light and dark, and grey, mished and mashed in the psyche. People say that I have a beautiful way of speaking, with my word choice, but then, it's not hard to figure out how to tug a person's heartstrings. Certain consonants, certain vowels, pitching your voice just so.
Are we beautiful because we do good deeds? Give money to charity?
Is it the way we move?
Because I'm a klutz. Ballerinas have an inherent beauty in their styles; you can see it in the way they walk. There's grace and fluidity.
There's a certain type of walk I like to see, although I see it less and less amoungst my peers. It's the type of walk where you know that the person could break into a dance at any moment. They could break into a rain dance or paparuda, do the funky chicken, fox-trot, or just pick a partner and glide around the room as if nothing could possibly deter them. I don't dance in front of people- I have no grace- but I think I could. I learnt a bit of ballroom dancing when I was younger, mostly just how to not fall over the hem of my skirt if it was long. But dancing alone, I can do. By myself, with the music. Corny as shit, but seriously- if you're bothered by reading this, why are you here? I'm corny. I still think I can save the world by myself. There's something to be said for childishness. I like people who still think that one act can save the world, even if it's as small as giving a stranger a few cents to pay for their candy bar.
So maybe we're beautiful for all the ways we inadverntly change the world. Maybe we are when we smile at the forlorn looking stranger, or when we give up our seat on the bus when someone needs it, or we make someone laugh when they're having a bad day. Maybe it is our words and the stupid things we say to cheer someone up. Maybe we will change the world, and push the wheels of the universe with our tiny little hands, and see the dirt and the grime and flip it the bird and keep doing what we're doing, because damn it, no amount of stupidity in people and dark times is going to stop us from doing what we need to do. Maybe our beauty doesn't stem from our good deeds, or the fact we're in love, but because we have the capacity to do good deeds and the capacity to love.
Maybe we're beautiful because everything we do is a small flutter of breath in the world, but it builds and grows into the pleasant summer breeze that cools us down, or into the gale that knocks down decay. Maybe I'm beautiful because when I'm down on my hands and knees and begging for mercy, I still think, somewhere in the back of my mind, that there's something wonderful around the next corner, and I just need to hold on until then. Maybe you're beautiful because you're sitting there, reading this, and disagreeing with me, because hell, I'm probably wrong about this.
Maybe beauty is persistence in everything we do. In dancing, laughing, ignoring, crying, feeling, everything. I think this song is beautiful, and for some odd reason, it makes me feel pretty. Maybe because it makes me want to dance.
So, I still don't know why I'm beautiful, but I know you're beautiful, for all your bumps and dirty little secrets, your private shame and little nicks. If everything is music, well, I guess that includes the skeletons in our closet as the bass section.