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Time for Beauty

I don't know if I ever really think about my writing enough to deem something a series...but maybe consider this an accidental series and the second of three parts on my time in Bali, Indonesia. (You can see the accidental first part here.)

There were a million things I loved about Bali- their value of community, the honoring of time and culture on an island whose tourism developed faster than its road systems; but my favorite thing was the integration of seemingly meaningless and frivolous beauty.

Pebble sidewalks were paved with white stone flowers. Statues were surrounded by hibiscus, plumeria, and other tropical flowers and vines. Every. single. day. Balinese women hand-craft banana leaf offerings woven together in different shapes, filled with incense sticks, flowers (imagine that), and little treats. The mini banana leaf trays would be laid on the sidewalk or on the spirit house. They would then dip a flower in water, and with all the pride a Southern woman takes in carefully crafting her casserole, flick water from the flower to the offering. (I've been waiting to make that joke for a while.)

Recently,  I was talking with a friend, who is an internationally known painter, about the process of creativity. He said, "I had a teacher tell me, 'You have to find what's beautiful.'" It seems like Balinese people have that figured out, because everything was a little frivolously beautiful. I don't mean frivolous in the sense that it was tacky or overbearing. I mean frivolous in the sense that maybe to make time to see beauty, create beauty, no matter how small, may be "unnecessary", but maybe it's what keeps us sane. I think Bali got that. There's time to make and do beautiful things.

Personally, since the school year started, I've struggled with finding time for all the things that make a healthy and whole human- Time to exercise, time to have friendships, time to be good at my job, time to grow in the pursuit of writing and music. So I woke up at 5:45 to write this because I at least always want to try and make time for things that enrich the soul.

Regardless of technical skill or ability, participating in life is an active form of creativity.

You're alive.

You're living. You're a creator. If our lives are a piece of art, what do they reflect of our values, our time, our priorities? We're more than our job. We're more than our paycheck. We're more than the summation of our positive and negative relationships. We're meant to experience, create, and explore beautiful things.

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