I wish I could show you what I see. There is so much that is ugly in this world, our media is full of death and destruction, our blogs are filled with hatred and outrage and our leaders are consumed with it. But the world is full of so much more, there is so much wonder and beauty in this world to which mostly goes unnoticed. Mostly these are the little things, things we see every day, but they are there if you look, if you just open your eyes. For every horrible act, for every death, there are 100’s, nay 1000’s of these beautiful things, wondrous things, amazing things but we pass them by giving them no more thought than we would a crack in the pavement. If I could show you what I see you would understand it’s the ordinary which is extraordinary.
I wish I could show you what I see. I pass an empty block, neighbors begging for it to be trimmed and manicured — but that isn’t what I see. I see a beautiful structure to the disorder, nature telling the arrow of time “Screw You” and that life does not succumb easily to chaos. I see knee length grass growing where the water pools after a shower, I see weeds with such tenacity growing from concrete, flown in from miles around in the stomachs of birds. I see flowers blooming where once there was landfill. I see the bees and the insects, entire ecologies existing where once there was nothing. I see the leftover husks of native fruit left as fertilizer by bats and possums and in the decaying remains small shoots of trees yet to be. If I could show you what I see you would understand that disorder is not chaos. That what life creates isn’t haphazard but built for the single purpose of living. That squares and circles and edges are far too simple a pattern to hold all that life needs to build.
I wish I could show you what I see. I pass an abandoned factory, developers trying to tear it down in the name of progress. The sheer irony brings me to a smile to my face, for was this factory not the height of progress 80 years ago with its mass production technologies. The elegance in the way it was designed and constructed. Raw goods in one entrance, the snake like conveyor belt that once passed through advanced machinery inside and finally finished goods all boxed and ready on the exit. The friends and families that must have worked and lived in this building, the lunch time gatherings, the Friday afternoon drinks. I can see these memories as plain as day, as well as the back breaking labor and flare ups between workers. But progress is like life and change is inevitable, the death of the old and the birth of the new. It doesn’t mean the new is better or worse, it’s just new and it will be what it wants to be. If I could show you what I see you would understand that life is built from life, that while greatness can be achieved in giant leaps it is also achieved on the bones of what has passed before. That the very methods developed by mass production are now used to build the parts for the office building which will replace the factory.
I wish I could show you what I see. I meet people every day, for some reason they open up to me, I’ve never known why. They are endlessly fascinating these people, they come from poverty, or pain, disaster or heartbreak and I hear how much they struggle, I hear the pride in their voices of how far they have come and how difficult the journey has been. I hear how much they want to change and also change the world around them. Some hurt so much but I hear the fighter in them, I can see their courage. I can see how much each and every one is capable of. At the same time my heart breaks for these people yet it’s made whole by the soul that shines out from within. If I could show you what I see you would understand that everybody’s story is important, that everyone needs to tell their tale because sometimes you can only see the meaning and reason for your life’s story when you have the courage to say it out loud.
I wish I could show you what I see in you dear reader. I see the walls you build from fear to hide away from the world. It’s written in the way you act and speak but I see past that. I see the garden that lies behind those walls, this garden you think is disorderly, that you can never seem to manicure and trim. It’s an amazing garden full of life, beauty and wisdom and it’s not supposed to be manicured or trimmed. Everything in it was grown for the sole purpose of your life; it’s far too complex a garden to put boxes around it. I see the abandoned factory from your childhood behind this garden, once so new and full of hope and vision but abandoned somewhere in ages gone past. I can see that you want to redevelop it and I see the dreams waiting to be drafted. Reach for those dreams, they are such amazing things. I can read your story as we talk; you have more courage than you think you do. It’s an epic tale full of sadness, love, loss and friends. It’s your story, it is who you were and as I read your story and understand the shoes you have been wearing how could I not be amazed by what I hear. If I could show you what I see in you dear reader then you would understand that you are wonderful, beautiful and amazing.