Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
As I dropped off my school belongings near the dining room table, I couldn’t help but notice the vintage crimson Marano cup that had been given to me as a gift years ago. I recalled how I laid eyes on the scarlet masterpiece, spellbound by its craft and artistry. Through years of abandonment, it hid itself in the corner of the China cabinet filthy, tarnished and dulled to maroon. I looked at the cup, promising that I would return to it another day. Yet, I realized I had been saying this for years. Troubled by its shameful state, I grasped the goblet and escorted it to the kitchen sink.
I doused the object in water and without amelioration; it stubbornly refused to scour itself. I asked it to comply as I poured detergents over its face. A rebel, it repudiated every scrubbing attempt. In reaction, I unleashed alcohols and metallic pads to purge the refuse. In discontent, my hands compellingly brushed its surface. Swiftly, it dodged the brush as I vehemently scratched my own hands, leaving them wounded and hemorrhaged. Caustics from the bath seeped into the openings of my skin, igniting pain. Yet despite the sting, my eyes lit with absolute resolve. The memories of the goblet’s former image hovered above my mind and fueled the ardent cleansing. Soap splashed in my eyes while my hands throbbed as I pressed onward to restore its quality. My faced grimaced from excruciation and perfectionism as I vowed not to halt until the deed was done, regardless of the magnitude of the trial.
As the deluge in sink receded while carrying the grime, I witnessed a phoenix revived from an inferno. I rested my aching hands and sat down to stare at the newborn Marano. The gold beamed like the sun and the red danced like blooming roses. I smiled as the toils ended while I thanked my perseverance for my feat. It was then, in the midst of my awe of the goblet’s beauty and glow, that I had understood the meaning of those two haunting lines of life.
We all, at once, have had hopes about our wants and possible successes. Many stop to ponder idly into these ruminations, rusting their dreams as they procrastinate through time. Several shudder in front of opportunity, disguised as a gatekeeper with a tag spelling “Labor”, who guards the doors to our aspirations. Eventually, we become aged with regret as we are only left with memories of the past, wishing that we could have or should have seized the chance when the time was ripe. Thus, we all have dreams that we desire but the hopes that are truly beautiful on earth are the ones we water with our sweat and tears to blossom them into reality.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.