Monday, September 22, 2014

Universal expressions of beauty

It is a very simple arrangement, or so it appears from the sidewalk about 8 floors below. 

Just a small planter bowl with a few carefully placed, brightly colored flowers. 

The blossoms grace one of the windows in a small, studio apartment at CityWalk@Akard, our housing development in Downtown Dallas. 

I'm not sure who occupies the apartment. 

It really doesn't matter because I "know" them well from countless previous encounters.  Undoubtedly a low-income person lives up there.  Possibly even a person who last lived on our streets is the current resident. 

The flowers are universal in my experience.  

Everyone loves beauty, even those too stressed to allow for it or to even recognize its presence in life at present. 

But this love, this connection, this longing attention resides in every heart and soul. 

We seem "hard-wired" for beauty. 

I observe this everywhere, even among neighbors who have no home to call their own. 

Housing allows for the necessary psychic space to "stage" or present the beauty that one appreciates or has found--thus the flowers nestled in a meagre bowl. 

To ignore the hunger for beauty that "the poor" possess is to make a fundamental and deadly error if one's intention has anything to do with connecting or engaging in community. 

The flowers up there remind me of the beauty all around. 

Beauty can't be denied or squelched, at least not for long. 

Beauty gives me hope.

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