doing this whole “daily lovely” thing has made me pay more attention to the beautiful things around me. it’s made me take note. that being said, in my quest for new content i find myself dwelling on certain things that might be considered somewhat sad, and i wonder whether they would be appropriate lovely material, or whether i should keep things light and fluffy?
for example: everyone who knows me knows i’m a pretty huge “buffy, the vampire slayer” fan. while the show is chock-full of of lines (not to mention shots, cuts, music, people, you name it…) that could be called lovely for their wit, their hilarity, their wisdom; these past few days one in particular has been popping into my head over and over.
it’s from the musical episode, “once more, with feeling,” which was written and directed by joss whedon himself. at one point, xander and anya, two characters who are engaged to be married, sing a song about their doubts in the face of matrimonial commitment. xander is an underachieving college drop out, whose normalcy is made that much more painful by his friends’ extensive successes and superpowers. anya is a newly human (and newly reformed) ex-demon, whose thousand plus years as an evil-doing immortal have made her abrasive and sometimes emotionally stunted. they each enumerate the things they find irritating about their respective partners, normal things like unpleasant eating habits and idiosyncrasies. but then comes one of my favorite lines this brilliant show has ever produced. in unison they sing “i lied, i said it’s easy. i’ve tried, but there’s these fears i can’t quell.” then xander sings, “is she looking for a pot of gold?” to which anya replies, “will i look good when i’ve gotten old?”
i find anya’s query heartbreakingly beautiful. here is this being whose extensive life as a demon has served to alienate her from her newfound human friends. whose struggle against this alienation is both difficult and unrelenting, as she constantly has to re-evaluate her actions, and process criticism from the people around her who tell her what “human society” finds socially acceptable. but with that simple question anya shows the audience exactly what she is under that ill mannered, uncouth, anti-social exterior: human.
she, who had grown accustomed to the prospect of unending life and youth, now trembles not only at the thought of getting old and dying, but at the thought of looking old. just like the rest of us. how much more clearly can her humanity shine through?
but why do i find this beautiful? because i love humanity, with all it’s flaws and frailties, and potential for both greatness and horror. with my recent (and painful) transition from agnosticism to atheism, people are all i have left to believe in. but i cling to that belief, and everyday it gives me something else to be happy about.
ah, but this doesn’t answer my original question. so in the interest of coherence, and at the expense of finishing on a note of poignance, i’ll get to that now. the fact is that this is my blog, and my point in posting about something lovely everyday was not only to keep track of the beautiful things around me, but also to evaluate why i find them beautiful, so that i could see as much good as possible, even in things that seem at first to be sad, or painful, and garner as much joy from my life and my surroundings as my rational mind will allow.
in short, if i see beauty, i think it belongs on the daily lovely, and my definition of beauty is wide and scary, so bear that in mind for future reading.