The Lebanese poet and novelist Kahlil Gibran writes,
“Beauty is not in the face;Â Beauty is a light in the heart.”
When I encounter beautiful strangers, I think it is to this light I am responding, the reason I feel compelled to compliment unique individual people, my own little Namaste.
During recent travels, I encountered a lovely, unique person in the expansive paradise that is Powell’s City of Books in Portland, Oregon. I was wandering the stacks with a friend when we found ourselves discussing metaphysical texts, and a passing stranger joined in our conversation.
For me, allowing myself to open my heart to the beauty of another person requires a shift into a certain mindset, a sense of wonder and appreciation of the inherent goodness, dignity and worth of others. In the midst of a hectic day, say, at work or in line at the bank, this appreciation is harder to come by. However, the setting for this particular encounter was completely conducive to open mind and heart.
Powell’s, this specific location, is a marvel. Â Level after level of stacks present to the eye, in a seemingly unending number of rooms, up and down staircases, all color coded to guide the visitor to his/her desire. As a first-time patron, I had already spent serious time drifting wide-eyed from room to room, stopping to ooh-and-ahh every few feet. The City knows the captivating power of its vastness:
“Any minute now an owl will swoop out of the ceiling, snatch a paperback from one of the Endcaps, and make off to read in peace somewhere in Reference. Owls live here, you can sense it.”
So, this was a lovely encounter with a stranger, who is indeed beautiful, in awe-inspiring setting. We talked for a long time, a spirited and intelligent conversation, and before we parted ways, both my companion and I felt compelled to tell Jeremy how beautiful he is.
Have you told anyone they’re beautiful today?