So she agrees; her life is a friendship between risk and responsibility. Her work, reliable and leading; her words, avant-garde and exploratory. I adore this beautiful writer. I'm telling you, this friend, is a kind of brilliant and when her passion meets apathy, it begins the process of confronting----of healing----that brokenness. It's such a joy to welcome Rebecca Baird to the blog this morning with her thoughts on this month's theme: beauty.
Here is a story about the word 'beautiful.'
When I was thirteen years old, Liam de Hora was fifteen. He was a boy in a pool in a tiny resort on Lanzarote, and we were young enough to be playing and old enough to be flirting all at once. Liam de Hora was an Irish boy with a Spanish name, which he was reticent to share with me because the boys at his school laughed at the way 'de Hora' sounded (hear it in an Irish accent, you'll understand why). We played with our accents, comparing the different curls and stops between the Scottish and Irish tongues (we did not play with our literal tongues, but Liam, if you're reading this, hit me up-----cause at fifteen, you were real cute). Liam loved the way I said 'beautiful.'
Unlike his accent, which swallowed it all up in a one-syllable gulp, mine played staccato with the consonants and pondered on the sounds: "beau-ti-ful." Looking back, I realise how good a chat-up line it was----getting a girl to say 'beautiful' over and over. I didn't get it then. My stomach felt funny, and I just turned red and splashed him with water and asked if he wanted a Fanta Lemon from the bar. He did. He went home the day after next.
I don't know if it was from then, or before then, that beauty became associated with voices for me. But as I sit here now and try to write something meaningful about beauty, all I can think of is that day, and Liam de Hora. Because even at thirteen, before I really understood what I felt, I knew that the most beautiful thing about a person had to be the words they said and how they said them. Every time I try to draw the pictures from my wildest dreams, I write the words instead. I can fall in love with a song because of the way the singer patterns a lyric onto melody (honestly, "you'll miss every toy you've ever owned" from Regina Spektor's 'Firewood' might be the most sublime sound you've ever heard). Whenever I go to get a tattoo, I back out because the thing I want to cover my body in is words, and there isn't enough space for all the words I love.
Ultimately, I reckon beauty is the thing that inspires wonder: true, childlike curiosity and awe. And whether tragic or delightful, sombre or bright, the most beautiful things in this world to me are words: tasty, crunchy, sumptuous, delectable words. Here are some of my favourites: