Luscious chaos

in Abadiania, Brazil

I took this photo during sunrise one of the first few days of the trip. My eyes were focused on the sun rising over the hills in the background. I felt a little silly when I realized that I didn’t even notice the “junk” in the foreground until I looked at the photo later.

I’ve thought about this photo often in the days since. As you can tell, I seem to find time here, not just to watch the sun rise and set, but to think.

One of my little peeves is how we often, as a culture, isolate beauty. We create areas of beauty separate from areas of work or areas where we live. Consider healing gardens in a hospital (rather than making every room a healing atmosphere for patients), green space in an industrial park or even protected national parks.

We do this with people as well. We inadvertently isolate ourselves from those who are  difficult to deal with or who remind us that there are less attractive aspects of life. We create separate spaces for people with learning differences, physical challenges, or any other unpleasant situation through special classes, homes and hospitals.

In my two weeks here, I feel like the beauty and the ugly are all intertwined. Sitting in the beautiful healing garden, you can hear the activity in the men’s restroom. Looking at the hills, you can see the construction materials. People with illness mingle with people who are more than well.

Coming from the culture I do, I realize that I wonder, why did they build the restroom next to the gardens? I suppose I could turn that around and ask, “Why not?”

Back to the area in the photo. Some of us would focus on only the beautiful background, some would focus on the foreground, some would see it all and get annoyed that the foreground is ruining the background for them, some would even arrange the photos so that you didn’t see the foreground.

Tonight, one of my fellow travelers showed me a photo of his property. I saw a blue tarp in the woods and asked what that was for. “That covers my construction materials,” he said. He admitted that he saw the materials in that same area (pictured above) and was tempted to cover them!

I don’t feel like any approach is better than the other, just different. I don’t even know which I prefer.

And then I got this quote today:

“I’m beginning to think peace is something we made up to keep us from being satisfied with all this luscious chaos.”
-StoryPeople by Brian Andreas

Maybe I just need to sit and be happy in the chaos of it all.

I wish you beauty along with anything that might feel unattractive, ease along with anything that feels hard, and satisfaction and smiles along with any chaos. And always, much pure love.


8 thoughts on “Luscious chaos

  1. Hi Marie! I’m so enjoying following your trip and I’m forwarding everything to my mom who also as you remember went to John of God herself. I’m laughing at this latest post because I’m totally the person who gets annoyed that the garbage in the front is ruining the beauty of the whole picture. But your blog post has given me some food for thought. Thanks for sharing. XOXO miss you hope to see you when you’re back. Love you Eliza

  2. Hi Marie – I’m also enjoying following along with your trip. Your insight in this post and from the photo is very yin-yang so of course I had to comment! I reckon we only appreciate beauty because of the chaos, and contained within chaos is beauty, while chaos can be found within beauty (thinking of the yin yang symbol). It probably doesn’t help that we judge our surroundings, but when we judge people and filter for differences rather looking for what we have in common, then we miss the beauty that is everywhere. Have a great trip.

  3. Man o man, I love this! Luscious chaos! Story of my life. And a struggle to always see it for what it is. Marie, you make me think, you make me smile.

    Much love to you, dear friend! xoxo Jaime

  4. and to think that the construcion materials that are clutter today will be a beautiful patio or table tomorrow in the hands of the right craftsman.

  5. It seems you are the type of person who at least chooses to see the beauty whenever possible. I am Julie and Steve’s friend, Cara… and apparently strangely related to your husband’s family! I have been receiving your posts and reading your old blog in an effort to understand better what my sister-in-law will be going through. She got her port today and will start Chemo at Dana Farber on Monday. Your early blog is very close to her current situation. I traveled to a family reunion last week and saw them for the first time in almost 2 years. They were both very scared (trying not to appear so) and the kids were also showing signs of a life turned upside down. We were told not to talk about it. I was told after everyone else, so I am sure I made a few missteps before I realized what was going on. Thank you for offering your posts as resources. I am not sure my sister-in-law is ready for them. I have the feeling she needs to pave her way into this unknown a bit before finding out too much, but I feel I have a better understanding of their upcoming hurdles from reading your story. I am so sorry you have had so many obstacles in your path… but as I read about your journey, I can clearly see you sifting through all the ugliness to see the beauty where you can. Even without any obvious affliction it can be hard to see the beauty in this world (at least for me) and you seem to be the sort of person who not only sees it, but also helps those who can’t see it get a better view. I look forward to reading more of your posts and getting to know you better through them. Your perspective is a very honest, healing, and wise one.

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