Beauty, I’ve realized, is a process. To discover beauty is to know another facet of oneself; a clarification of perception; to realize something so precious that wasn’t there before. Sometimes it sneaks up on you, sometimes it gradually forms… as if you knew how pretty a flower would bloom, but not how precious it would be if the blooming flower was given to you, just for you.
– Discovered today in my journal from 2001.
Ten years ago as I walked out of a subway car I was approached by an unkempt man holding a single rose in his hand. He didn’t seem all there but he didn’t seem threatening either. He motioned that the flower was for me. My city instincts kicked in and I refused, saying, “Oh no, you must’ve mistaken me for someone else.” He said nothing, but insisted that I receive the rose. He walked away, hands in alms. I sheepishly accepted and spent that day thinking about the beauty of people, the meaning behind the gift.
That same night, still carrying the rose on my way to school, I said hello to the custodian and conducted our usual chat. It was then I knew I could give the rose to him. He would appreciate it and I found meaning in the gift: to share beauty with other people. He smiled, perhaps a little teary eyed from the randomness and thoughtfulness about it. We both left with our cups filled.
It’s been too long since I carried that spirit within me. The road to the Golden Gloves has been complicated and difficult: three steps forward, four back, and two sideways. But as I begin the journey back to competition, I look towards Beauty as my guide. A simple appreciation for where we are, who we are with and our journey into the unknown. I’ll accept the randomness of life in all it’s ugliness and beauty, bit by bit.