What measure for a life taught beauty instead of love?
Love — measured carefully on both hands in remembered moments, but it is not gifts, it is not treasure, or embrace, or affection. It is a constant war, and we are foot-soldiers, running across the battlefield. We are scouts, on stealthy, fearful forays across creaking floors, hoping to pass unnoticed through enemy lines. We are given no structure or training or guidance. Pride is silent, unexpressed because perfection was expected, and we are largely ignored. Love there is an afterthought. An occasional accident. Unpredictable and fleeting. This is Love.
Beauty — almost unattainable, iconic, revered, an accident of combinations leading blindly down myriad paths and solutions — a sense, an intangibility that I can nonetheless see, and hear, and reach for, and touch with gentle fingers, smell, taste on my tongue, even in memory. A form of solitary chemistry. But Beauty can be terrible, it is not just softness and bright, happy things. It is the taint in the air of a dead body on a thick summer evening; it is the motes dancing in beams of sunlight in a dying farmhouse; it is the seconds of silence that follow the screech of brakes, the rush of heartbeats, the surge of flight. It is tear streaks on dirty cheeks, shining in the light from the hallway, where the battle rages on. This is Beauty.
This is me.
Moreover, I, on my side, require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives; some such account as he would send to his kindred from a distant land; for if he has lived sincerely, it must have been in a distant land to me.
— Henry David Thoreau
The challenge for this week is for you, dear writer, to pen a simple and sincere account of your life. What does that mean? It is up to you to work out. I think this should be limited to about 900 words or so. But there is no lower limit. One true sentence will do.