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What the heart desires

We want more than food, shelter and safety. We want beauty and meaning. Those things come in a million ways. One rose in an otherwise unadorned room can change it, give it a glow. We want to see kindness, to feel it in ourselves, to be reassured that life is supported by good.

In our personal lives, we want to create surroundings that reflect these beauties so that we are reminded that our soul lives. We may not be talented at making art or arranging our environment, but somehow we’ll find a way to put something in the world to remind ourselves we can contribute something good to life. We have that impulse to take care of our little corner of life with its living beings, plants or animals.

We somehow know that life goes forward on small kindnesses.

Yes, we see the nightly news, that big stage set so crowded with villains, dupes and knaves. We know they exist. They’re out there in the world doing inexplicable things. We wish they would get off stage. We wish folks would not follow and admire them, but as we turn to our modest lives, we are faced with our own dramas, dramas of the heart.

The issue is always the same — what is love, what is true caring and kindness, and can we create a life out of that?

That fraught question is for each person to address in themselves. Everything around them will be affected by how they answer the demand to be in loving relationship with the world.

People evolve in fragments, not in a whole piece. We may have weak and submerged parts of ourselves that may contradict our beliefs. Having beliefs may in fact cause us to suppress thoughts and feelings that don’t fit our favorite system.

Would you explode into a million fragments without a cultural and religious framework to contain you? That question of what the basic nature of a human really is hasn’t been settled. We continue to discover the extent of what existence is and how humans fit into it.

And yet, kindness is healing, I believe, healing of everything that lives. There is a spirit alive in every locus, every being, and if we are paying attention we can protect it and help it thrive.

Creating beauty is our calling.

Written by

I occasionally write fiction and also about creativity, loving, language learning and travel. I’m a longtime painter and reader.

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