Inner Beauty

La Voz de Galicia – August 13, 2021 →

Cristina PatoI was running late, and I don’t like driving at night, but during these summer nights the sky is more beautiful than ever. Or at least that is what I thought when, driving around the rural part of Ourense, I saw that luminous thread of waxing moon and all those possible stars that shone around it. «Infinite beauty,» I murmured. But I suddenly felt afraid (as it sometimes happens to me when I drive at night), and I decided to turn the radio on to see if I could turn away those thoughts I am not always able to control. And at that moment, in an interview by Lara Hermoso for RNE (National Spanish Radio), the writer and professor Ana Caballé talked about moral beauty, about the ability to learn from pain, about the possibility of beautifying our inner life and about Concepción Arenal.

And then I began to think about how difficult it is today to find the necessary silence to feed inner beauty. And I had to turn the radio off because at that moment a wonderful idea for a column came to me. And the perfect phrase came to me about learning from mistakes, about learning to grow, about learning where beauty resides. But I am not one of those people who can do two things at once, so I repeated the phrase in my head over and over in the hope of not forgetting it and being able to write it down once I got home. I continued driving but in another dark intersection that absurd fear appeared again, so I turned the radio on again. The interview had ended, but the radio served its purpose: accompanied and entertained, I arrived safely at home.

I never got back the magic phrase, the one who would give rise to a beautiful column. But the idea is there, looking for a way out. I just need a little silence (social and mental), to see if I can nourish both the phrase and inner beauty.

1 Comment

  1. Ms. Pato,

    I should have sent a fanboy (though I’m of your mother’s generation) letter earlier.I have been reading and enjoying your columns for a year now. I have shared your insight with pals. I have quoted you in my own column and last month cited you — my “favorite eclectic Galician bagpiper” — in a column pointing out that cultures have been interacting with each other forever. What “precious” people call “cultural appropriation” is really “cultural appreciation.”

    I write to offer a way to preserve such insights as you say you lost on Inner Beauty while driving. Convert those thoughts into song lyrics! Then just keep singing them until you get home. As a young man, I lived 30-40 minutes away from my best friends. I wrote many songs while driving. Today, I use my treadmill similarly though, of course, I can stop it intermittently and jot down my thoughts — or put lyrics to the eight chords I know.

    Thank you for the peaceful sanity that share with us each week.

    Gary Edmondson
    Duncan, Oklahoma

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