#46 | When things are scary

“When we are overwhelmed it is a moment when we need our own love, kindness, and compassion the most.”
— Matt Kahn

Azaleas in my front yard

Hi, I’m Hugh Hollowell, and this is Life is So Beautiful, a weekly newsletter about finding the beauty around us. This premise behind this newsletter is that there will be ugliness in our lives, and it is self-evident. But the beauty in our lives is often hidden, and so we have to hunt for it. And the beauty we find can give us a reserve to draw from, to see us through the bad times, like loading up with water before you cross the desert.

Right now, there is a lot of ugliness, fear, and uncertainty in the world. But it is also filled with beauty. It is also filled with hope. It is springtime, and the flowers are blooming, and as I type this the birds are singing outside my window.

I know it’s scary right now. It is for me, too – because of the medications she takes, my wife is immunosuppressed, which means she doesn’t have a normal immune system. She won’t be able to fight this off if she gets it.

I think the thing I hate most about this is how it makes you see others as a potential spreader of disease, instead of a human being. We don’t need more help in being afraid of people we don’t know, and yet here we are.

Please stay home as much as you can to help flatten the curve, but while you are there, take care of yourself. Stay hydrated. Get plenty of sleep. No, probably more than that. Go for walks. Learn something new. Eat the best food that you can, and stay in touch with people. Isolation will kill you. Don’t let them steal your humanity – look for opportunities to help others, even if on the smallest of scales. Find the humor where you can, and laugh as much as you can. Hunt out beautiful things.

And remember: Love always wins in the end, and if it ever seems like love has not won, it is because it is not yet the end.

Five Beautiful Things

  • Italians waiting out the coronavirus by doing socially distant neighborhood singalongs.
  • A reader shared this with me: For 27 years, a photographer took pictures of her parents waving goodbye every time she left their house. This is so good. (Thanks, Paula!)
  • Jenna is a writer who has had her share of online harassment. She had a breakthrough last week, when she chose to look for the good in those who wish her ill. I love this so much.
  • This may be my new favorite Instagram account.
  • A musical instrument I hadn’t heard of is a crystal organ. It sounds haunting, and now I need an album full of this.

Hopeful Resistance

Thanks to the financial underwriting of my patrons, last week we launched my new newsletter, Hopeful Resistance, and it was great! (Imagine that said in my Tony the Tiger voice). In case you missed it, I am doing a new weekly newsletter on Fridays – a short essay about how we resist the current realities of our world without losing ourselves in the process. How we resist hopefully.

You can read the first one here, and then sign up here to get your own subscription.

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Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a great week, and that your life is filled with beautiful things. If you see something beautiful this week, I hope you will let me know about it, and if one of my five I shared today struck you in a special way, I hope you will let me know about that, too.

If you want to support this project, you can sign up to be a Patron or buy me a book or forward this email to your friends. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.