Brilliance and Beauty are seductive things.
At first they come to us and they level us with such ferocity and intensity, their newness widely flooding our unprepared hearts. We notice them, we cherish them, we celebrate them—we allow them to overwhelm us.
This is what love looks like.
But over time we grow so used to Brilliance and Beauty’s glorious presence in our lives that we gradually become numb to the gifts they give; our ears slowly deafened until their songs are relegated to merely a background noise that we hardly notice any longer.
We live in our ordinary days believing they are permanent; that what we have we will always have and who we are with we will always have with us, and in this way we overlook just how miraculous and fragile and fleeting those ordinary days really are.
We seem only ever able to truly embrace our treasures once they are just beyond our grasp. We fail to accurately assess people’s preciousness in real-time and ironically the only time we fully celebrate them in the present is when they become past tense; the moment they become the stuff of memory.
When the Brilliance and the Beauty leaves, we finally see it all clearly, exploding in the tragic, breathtaking supernova of a human being.
David Bowie’s life was a uniquely singular display of creativity, talent, and humanity; a once-in-History arrangement of matter and emotion which leaves a massive, unfillable chasm on the planet, and he is rightly eulogized and grieved today.
His genius will never be repeated. His song will never be replaced.
And yet his is no more extraordinary a life than the billions inhabiting the planet this very day; his particular Brilliance and Beauty no more worth acknowledging than their own. You are, even now surrounded by such legendary figures.
You are that brilliant and beautiful too.
We so easily miss the true poetry of people; the depth and power and originality of the song their lives sing over us. Maybe it’s because we’re too close to grasp it all. Maybe that’s why when they leave, we finally get a true understanding of just how big they were to us.
Look around you, my friend. Really see people today. Stop to notice or notice once again, the gorgeous, magnificent, awe-inspiring splendor of those in your midst. Pause to look upon their faces and touch their hands and listen to their songs while you can.
One day their brilliance and beauty will leave this place too.
David Bowie’s sudden passing reminds us that we all take Brilliance and Beauty for granted until they are gone.
Don’t miss the Brilliance and Beauty in your life and in the lives of those you all-too briefly share this space with.
Listen to the songs they are singing.