Friday, July 15, 2011

Your Life is Gorgeous

I have recently fallen in love with Lush. It's this organic, veggie-fruity-vegan-y, beautiful smelling soap and skin care store. I find every time I walk in the store I want to buy everything and use it all immediately. I want to use their Marilyn hair mask and their jasmine shower jelly and their rose soap and this "Dorothy" bubble bar that makes me want to sing Elphaba solos.

So when I was there a couple of weekends ago, I was trying out different moisturizers on the back of my hand. And they have this one called "Gorgeous." And it got me thinking about that word - gorgeous - and how rarely I used it. I carry a handful of words - pretty, lovely, beautiful, sweet - and toss them across other people's lives like Hansel and Gretel with their breadcrumbs. But when do I use the word gorgeous, with all of its weight and wonder? The other words are tired of carrying the same meanings, stretched thin over comments and in paragraphs where I can't think of a better word, or in letters to people far away. I keep using the same words to say the unique things: the thing I would say by reaching my hand across the cool ribbed surface of the Starbucks table and placing it in the crook of your elbow, and catching your eyes darting back and forth and smiling so widely that there wouldn't be a doubt in your mind that the only thing I wanted you to know was that you are important to me.

{And I want to fill this blog with good words}

It's my second post of the day (it just was one of those Fridays, as my friend Lauren would say), and I want to use the word gorgeous. I want to use it to punctuate the post and to capture moments in my butterfly net of a mind. I am turning 21 in a few days and the word gorgeous feels raw on my tongue. It tastes fresh and a little like key lime raspberry cupcake or maybe like mojitos with a hint of peach or maybe like I imagine that clean linen smell would taste like if it was a taste. How do I say it?

How do I say, your life is gorgeous, to the girl who stands makeup-less in front of the mirror? How do I say, you are gorgeous to her, with her strands of red-blonde hair escaping from her ponytail as she runs through the pounding rain? 

This girl prefers pencil skirts to jeans and would, if she thought she could, make a 30 hour day instead of a 24 hour one. She has tough lessons to learn about forgiveness and patience and peace, she dwells in stormy weather and she forgets, often, to hold her hands out and open to the gift of the world. And as I look at her and trace my hands over the contours of her face, I want to know, how do you pronounce the word gorgeous with enough certainty that this girl, who writes on a blog about a city she loves, about people who change her, about the joy of learning and dancing in your kitchen, will hear it.

If I were going to ask you a question, readers, it would be how to learn to be patient with my own life when it feels like I'm the tortoise and everyone else is the hare. When I'm still in the same place, and others are leaping forward to new cities and new jobs and relationships and schools and apartments, and I'm just where I am. How do I stop that voice in my head that says the measure of the gorgeousness of life is all of the things the other people in life are doing? 

And if I were going to tell you something, readers, it would be that your life is gorgeous. I can picture you reading this in between folding sheets or loading the dishwasher. I can picture you trying out the word "gorgeous" in front of your own mirror or while you're drinking a cappuccino or while you're brushing your teeth. I can see you scattered like oak seeds all over the place, thousands of miles apart, reading this and thinking, "nah, my life? it's pretty bland."

But it isn't. It is dazzling with moments of moons hung in the sky over the prairie (thank you, Gilead) and laughter over cups of iced tea and tickling five year old feet at the foot of the bed and visiting a good friend. It is all full to bursting with the life that is gift.

(Photo: Hannah Cochran)

Your life is gorgeous. 


1 comment:

  1. Hilary, I love this.

    I often write that comment on various blogs, or read it in the comments of others even more often, and somehow it never seems to convey the depth of meaning that I meant it to when I typed it.

    But seriously, I love this. I love how, in every post, it seems as though you truly are speaking to me, as though we were sitting across a table at Starbucks sharing our hearts and lives -- even though you've never met me.

    You have a gift. A way of using words to make those who read them feel valuable, a way of encouraging people to recognize the beautiful, nay, gorgeous grace that surrounds them in the every day. And I appreciate so much that I get to benefit from that gift.

    So, when I say, "I love this post," that's what I mean.


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