I initiated this blog back in September with grand plans to document the exquisite as I move through a challenging phase of my life, parenting teenagers and in a sense, parenting my aging mother. I wanted a space where I could document, process, share, and/or vent. And a space where I could remember to see and hold on to the beauty through it all.
I posted five times, before life started kicking up a storm and I retreated into the non-public comfort of my own mind. Trump was elected, work became overwhelming, my mother had surgery that brought a new set of worries and complications, and managing teen anxiety again morphed into a full-time job all on its own. More often than not it has felt like a vise has been constricted around the part of my brain that craves intellectual and creative engagement, that part of me that is alive and hungry.
A dear friend recently wrote to me and reminded me about the importance of seeking that which is exquisite. She said, "I don't know anyone else who uses this word and I love that you do, and especially that you do so in the face of real struggles and pain. It's easy to be philosophical when things are easy. The real challenge is when things are hard." The vise is still there, but now more than ever it feels crucial to return to this space. Maybe others will join me, and maybe not. Either way is fine. It is a space where I will engage with the exquisite, even when it seems hard to find.
I've been thinking a lot about what this idea of exquisite means for me, and perhaps my writing here is my attempt to give life to that concept. It is easy enough, I think, to find it in an amazing sky, a transcendent song, or the feeling of my feet upon the earth. But more and more I crave the exquisite in the form of connection, be it face to face or virtual, with people that I love and with communities of solidarity. In these times we all need to build these alliances, nurture love, persist through difficulty, and allow the strength that we gain from connection in all of its forms to both root us in ourselves and drive us forward collectively.
As I write this out I think it sounds both corny and grand. I'm okay with that, I think, as reaching towards corny and grand will always carry me farther than withdrawing into cynical and narrow. Maybe you, too.