Redemption comes in strange place, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are
And I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful
I am growing a playlist of songs about beauty. This one from Sara Groves is a perfect manifesto for the beauty seeker.
It is important to believe in acts of beauty.
It is important that we give flowers in response to gunfire. It is important to sing redemption songs in response to brutality. It is important to give where others take. By doing so, you spread the powerful notion of a better way. It may seem impotent when staring down the barrel of a gun, but is a notion worth living and dying for.
This site has not had the launch I’d hoped for due to a family medical crisis, which is ongoing. However, I cannot let this most beautiful month pass without acknowledgment. I’m ready to give May permission to let its healing powers of new life invade my personal turmoil. I’ll be posting a daily beauty quote, which I’ve crafted or collected, in order to participate with May, to advance the cause of beauty.
I wish I could tell the story differently. I wish I could say that when our family moved to Ghana, sight unseen, I skipped the classic responses of foreigners to an African country – so typical they are often parodied. I wish I could say that I wasn’t overwhelmed by the things I was fearing, such as poverty, disease, and, truthfully, difference. These were the things I first noticed when we arrived in this country which was to be my family’s home for the next two years. Should I have turned right back around and headed home within the first few weeks, as I wanted to, this would have been my only impression and I would have perpetuated a half-truth about Ghana. I didn’t yet have the eyes to see Ghana as she truly was – it took time and intention to see her beauty.
Of course there were the resorts along the coast that cultivated the country’s natural beauty. Ecologically, Ghana is known for its tropical rain forest, beautiful beaches, lakes, waterfalls, rolling hills and rock formations. It is, as the ads say, “a nature-lover’s paradise.” Such rich territory also yields rich crops, which is tied to a dark history – and still a dark present – of slavery and greed. Which is to say where there is beauty, there will be those who wish to exploit it. Continue reading “The beauty of belonging”
My sister Tracey, at age seven, had been paying attention in Sunday school, and was persuaded that she would go to hell if she did not accept Jesus into her heart. Her very recent conviction did not give her relief or peace, however, as she carried a burning urgency home from church, tormented for the soul of her younger sister.
The first chance she got, in our shared bedroom, she explained the whole fearful thing to me in stunning detail and then asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart and save my soul.
I rather just hoped she was wrong. I wished she’d let me continue playing with my doll. Continue reading “Jesus by headlock”
From a young age, I was indoctrinated about the dangerous power of beauty. It was told to me in a story – my favourite story – which was closely connected to my own identity. I was named after beauty folklore.
My name, Loreli, came from the myth of The Lorelei (or Loreley). The story takes place at the Rhine River, in Germany. Legend has it that, at a particularly treacherous bend in the river, this is where a beautiful maiden, named Lorelei, was betrayed by her lover. She cast herself into the river in despair and came up as a water spirit. Because of her infinite pain and anger and desire for revenge, she attracted fishermen to draw close, enticing them toward the rocks and their death.
While The Lorelei legend offered a practical lesson for boaters on the Rhine River to proceed cautiously, I learned from the story that beauty had an alluring power and it wasn’t always friendly. Continue reading “What’s in a name?”