a world

Your job is to find beauty.


~ Photo: Thomas Lloyd Qualls ~

~ Photo: Shawn Marshall ~

Just stop it, already. You know what I’m talking about. You, telling that same old story about how impossible things are, how unfair.

The story of how the whole world is rigged, and not in your favor. The story of inequality, injustice, oppression, corruption, lies. The story of why it is understandable that you are where you are.

I’ve said it before, this world isn’t perfect. In fact, in many ways, it’s down right broken. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also beautiful. Your job is not to fix all the problems. Your job is not even to point out the problems, or to explain them.

Your job is to find beauty.

Because it is out there. And it is in here. It is everywhere you look. And it is everywhere you don’t look.

“When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.” – John O’Donohue

Practice what you preach. Better yet, stop preaching. And just be. No one wants to listen to preaching anyway. At least not for very long. And not over and over again. Even if they agree with you.

If you find that you are well suited to repairing a small piece of the world that is broken, then by all means, go ahead. We need your services. We need fixers and healers of all shapes and sizes and colors.

But just in case I wasn’t clear, I’ll say it again:

Your job is to find beauty.

Your job is to seek it out, acknowledge it, share it, nurture it, photograph it, paint it, sculpt it, write about it, draw its name in the sand, scatter its petals over the ocean, light up the night sky with its fire.

As an artist, your job is also to create beauty. To be it. That is the birthright of each and every one of us. To acknowledge our own beauty. To become it. To look beneath the surface, to brush away the dust, to shake out the rugs.

We have stacked so much rubbish on top of ourselves, that our true beauty, and the beauty of everyone and everything are buried under our prejudices, our beliefs, our pages and pages of worn out stories. Dig yourself out. Brush yourself off. Throw away the never-ending manuscript of why you can’t.

The world is neither this thing nor that thing. It is not our ideas of how it is or of how it should be. The world is the world. Like love, the world contains all possibilities. All darks and lights, all ups and downs, all rainbows of doubt and joy, hardship and pleasure. But I want you to forget all that.

Your job is to find beauty.



 {Seeking Beauty? Inquire Within.}


Thomas Qualls

Thomas Qualls

Writer. Novelist. Essayist. Attorney. Artist.
Thomas Lloyd Qualls is a writer -- a condition that is apparently incurable. He manages his condition, in part, by regular contributions to Rebelle Society and to Reno Tahoe Tonight Magazine. He's also a novelist, an essayist, a videographer, a painter, a bike rider, and through his law practice -- a sometimes salvager of troubled lives. 'Waking Up at Rembrandt’s', his debut novel, has received local and national critical acclaim. The second edition of the novel is available in print (think of vinyl, only for books) and on multiple e-version platforms. There’s also a book of poetry, 'Love jaywalks', available everywhere e-books are sold. Still on the horizon: a collection of essays, some new paintings, and a second novel, 'Painted oxen', due out soon. In the meantime, you can visit his website whenever you like for more of his stuff.
Thomas Qualls
Thomas Qualls
Thomas Qualls

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