The beauty of ballet
is not found in the graceful plié
nor the elegance of a perfect glissade;
it is in the twisted, broken toes of the dancer;
the slipper full of blood.
The exquisiteness of life
is not in the gathering of fame and riches,
but rather, like the danseur lifting the ballerina,
it is found in the painful sacrifice of self
that lifts another heavenward
toward the dazzling stars.
The beauty of the butterfly
is not in the shimmering iridescence
of its painted wings in morning’s light
or the weightlessness of its flitting flight;
but in the awe-inspiring metamorphosis
from lowly caterpillar to winged god,
as it slowly struggles to survive beneath
the hungry beaks of a thousand birds.
Likewise, the magnificence of Man
is best reflected in the transformation
of the lonely individual
who, despite the darkness of the hour,
finds his wings and angelic cause
in the collective community of humankind.
Beauty isn’t always lavish and dazzling,
apparent to the surface of the eye;
beauty can be elusive and transparent,
to be felt only in the interior of the heart.
It takes form when you discover something
greater than yourself in the world.
It takes meaning when the light that is you
is redirected and reflected on the
anonymous shadows of another.
The smile that is on another’s face
because you put it there;
the hope that takes root in another’s soul
because you planted it there.
The faith that no proof requires;
the love which fills and inspires.
Living in this world isn’t wonderful
simply because you are in it –
living in this world is wonderful
because of all the people with whom
you get to share the journey.