Writer’s Weekend Edition – Illuminate the Beautiful

On the multiple roles of The Artist …

My Instagram feed @suddenlyjamieI have made no secret of the fact that my worldview has been irreparably changed by bearing witness to the recent U.S. election and the ensuing fallout. As someone who has spent most of her life avoiding political discussions because it “wasn’t my thing,” I am now engaged in a self-guided crash course in civics so that I may speak and act responsibly and proactively in the days ahead.

That said, I am and always will be a writer – an artist – at heart. While I feel an urgent responsibility to actively engage in standing up against tyranny in all its forms, I do not want that battle to consume my every thought, or indeed, my ability to appreciate all the beauty and magic the world has to offer.

Earlier today, a friend of mine posted on Facebook inviting friends to find and share the “beauty in the madness.” Peter Beach is a designer/illustrator/photographer who, among other things, has created a startling and piercing collection of black and white photographs documenting the lives of the homeless of Miami Beach. Here is what he said in his Facebook post:

… let this image begin a new series: “Beauty in the Madness” – random observations of beauty in everyday life.

The goal: to create an awareness… acknowledgment… a conscious effort to notice, embrace and celebrate the smallest and most insignificant things that life presents each day — ultimately and most importantly, to counterbalance the daily negative onslaught we’re experiencing.

>>> feel free to extend the series – your own observations and personal interpretations of beauty throughout your daily travels – can’t wait to see them – the creative soul awaits!

This is an invitation I have accepted and would now like to extend to you.

Whether you are capturing your observations of beauty with a camera, a paintbrush, a pen, or a keyboard, I invite you to share them far and wide. Link to them in the comments. Tweet them. Instagram them. Snapchat, Facebook, and YouTube them. (Sorry for the grammatically incorrect use of nouns as verbs. My inner editor is cringing, but I’ve asked her to count to ten and move past it.) Send them in letters. Leave them on café tables. Tuck them into library books.

Seek and cherish images, words, and stories of beauty, and let your definition of beauty encompass all the world in all its astonishing mystery and diversity.

··• )o( •··

Jamie Lee Wallace Hi. I’m Jamie. I am a content writer and branding consultant, columnist, sometime feature writer, prolific blogger, and aspiring fiction writer. I’m a mom, a student of equestrian arts, and a nature lover. I believe in small kindnesses, daily chocolate, and happy endings. Introduce yourself on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest. I don’t bite … usually.

This post originally appeared on the Live to Write – Write to Live blog.

23 thoughts on “Writer’s Weekend Edition – Illuminate the Beautiful

  1. Pingback: Writer’s Weekend Edition – Illuminate the Beautiful — Live to Write – Write to Live | Le Bien-Etre au bout des Doigts

    • Thank you for sharing! I love the post showing your garden in different seasons, and your close-up photographs of flowers are stunning. And – oh! – some of those hiking locations!! I’m envious. What magical landscapes! 🙂

  2. Reblogged this on Winfree Writes and commented:
    “…Josh had developed an eye for seeing art in everyday things. In his life, he had seen both beauty and ugliness and he had documented both very well, and he learned to see the beauty in ugliness and the ugliness in beauty.” (from The Reality of Being Lovers by Gail L. Winfree)

    Art and beauty surround us, existing in the most insignificant places and ways. They are our interpretations of the world.

  3. Like you these last few months and the election have touched my unexpectedly touched my reality. I never spoke politics or religion. I know I am a liberal, feminist, old hippie type. I have been struggling how I can protest or speak my mind or represent my thoughts someway. Your words have given me inspiration for my photography as well. I now have direction for my art and writing.

    • I hear you. Having never been politically involved and only marginally involved in terms of activism (via regular donations to my favorite charities), I am coming into this “new world” feeling rather unprepared to deal with everything I’m witnessing. But I have to try and remember to keep myself grounded in who I am and what I love … the best actions will grow from there. xo

  4. Thank you. Touch the world with the beautiful with your written word as much as with images and art. Where-ever there is darkness this is my goal and purpose in life now…..I will write Hope and Peace. I will take photos of beauty. I will write stories that bring blessing not the grim and the dark (not to impress anyone or even for a competition). Inspire everyone in your spheres of influence to do likewise. in fact that is what I have endeavoured to do in my longer writing check our the website for local novel http://www.marrange-limga.com Its just a website maybe even the image and artwork will show what I am endeavouring to achieve. Thank you to you all. Cheers!

    • There is purpose in beauty, I think, in that exposing people to beauty can touch their hearts and minds and transform the way they think and act. It can change perceptions and open people up to a broader view of the world and a greater appreciation for every creature in it.

      Thank you for sharing your site. You are bringing the subtle beauties of the past to life through your stories, helping people “see” beyond this moment in time so they can appreciate another era. Lovely.

    • Hello, Robynne. 🙂
      I wasn’t able to access the link because it says it’s a private site. Is there another way to see your work?

      • Oops.. Jamie, no wonder I rarely had comments or views. Have changed the privacy settings, hope that works. 🙂

      • Thanks so much, Robynne. That was worth the wait! 🙂 I always love to see flowers and trees and even moss finding a foothold in the most unlikely (and seemingly inhospitable) places. It amazes and inspires me every time. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Writer’s Weekend Edition – This Is Who I Am | Live to Write – Write to Live

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