In 2005 I was up in the hills at Ruby's seeing some live music with a bunch of friends. Vika and Linda Bull were performing, amongst other people. I was twenty-four years old and very much in the midst of a 'what does it all mean' splash of time.
When those ladies hit the stage everyone was completely captivated. I felt a lightning bolt going into my chest and out my fingertips and buzzing around in my head. This is what it all means. To do what you love will turn you into an astonishingly beautiful person, and then you will be visible. Then you will make your life and everyone else's life better.
It's like seeing a really great teacher in action, or an artist in the thick of creating a great work, or a wonderful parent loving their child. There's a transference of great joy that seems miraculous.
I think of that night often and keep wondering where that magic will happen in my life. There have been glimmers but I'm still searching.
My earliest memory is from when I was three or four years old and everything is hazy and magic in a brilliant pink sunset, or was it sunrise? I recall that it was very early or the very end of the day, and someone in my family took me outside to the paddock to see a foal being born. I understood then that when baby horses come into the world, everything is pink. Everything is dreamy.
Last year a very talented photographer I know through PBS shared this image and I was instantly transported to that sleepy memory where everything was dazzling.
(Photograph by Eleanor Butt)
I'm saving up to purchase a print of this so I can put it in a lovely frame and hang it in our study. It reminds me that memories can be dreams and dreams can be memories.
This morning I asked a few friends what springs to mind when I ask them to describe a beautiful memory.
Tracey told me about going to India a few years ago for the first time, and when they made it off the beaten track and stayed in a village with a family in their home and were shown how to get to a place to sit on the roof around sunrise. She sat on the roof in a comfy spot with a shawl around her and every now and then someone from the family would come up and say hello, have a brief chat and then leave again. That balance between being in company and left to her own devices to be fully present and experience that amazing sunrise, watching a peacock soaring across the skyline, and learning that was the national bird of India, was one of those time stopping still moments in life.
Jed said: a beautiful memory for me is my grandma and me jumping on our beds playing tennis with balloons.
Caitlin said: walking into the square in front of the cathedral in Santiago Spain, and
the energy of the place...running into people I had walked with along
the Camino to Santiago....800kms to get there and a long walking
meditative experience. Another was when my then partner bought me a
guitar for Christmas...I felt supremely seen and known by him.
Kerry said: this one time when Irene and I were first dating and I went to her house
she had recreated a starry night inside - fairy lights all over the
ceiling and a picnic laid out on the floor. It was perfect.
So it seems that everyone's story involved generosity in some way, being understood, being visible. Life being a bit richer and sweeter in ways we weren't expecting.
What do you think of when you think of Beautiful?