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A thing of beauty is a joy forever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

Therefore on every morrow we are wreathing

A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkened ways

Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

Some shape of beauty moves away the pall

From our dark spirits…  –  John Keats (1795-1821)

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I understand

Completely

What he meant

In this poem.

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It must have been the first time I watched Mary Poppins

on a movie theater’s big screen

when I heard the line quoted for the first time…8720_01c53a47e27d499ecf8a3989fe68a522, Mary Poppins

Pulling a potted plant from her carpet bag…

She also was one who appreciated beauty.

And I became perfectly and utterly entranced—

Mary Poppins was the most beautiful, magical, awe-inspiring creature

I had ever witnessed in my young life

(especially in her fluffy white dress worn in the

chalk drawing’s make-believe countryside).

Since then the poetic line has remained with me all these years…

A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

All my life and in every place I’ve ever been, I have looked for beauty.

I don’t know why—it’s just something within me…

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Whenever I’ve found myself in a situation severely lacking in beauty,

The first thing I attempt to do is bring order, and cleanliness,

tossing out things that don’t belong, and rearranging what should be kept…

Then I start adding touches of beauty.

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There is a serious struggle within my spirit, though,

When I recognize the need for beauty

(or for anything of noble worth: truthfulness, generosity,

selflessness, purity, grace, patience, humility)…

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness,

goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…  –  Galatians 5:22-23

But beauty evades… remains hidden, for some reason unknown…

To be continued…

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