Posted by: Shanna Germain | 11/13/2009

Pg. 178: Beauty Is As


Light through the windows nearing sunset.


I would like to blame my recent absence from here on writing. And in many ways, I could. I have been writing and writing and writing. Fiction. Poems. Books. Articles. Essays. Anything and everything, trying to get things submitted, accepted, published and most of all, paid for. World traveling isn’t all that expensive, but living is. Or it can be. And there’s something in me that, in despite my creative-heart, is A. a workaholic and B. a pragmatist and C. a realist. (Wait, are B and C the same thing? I can’t remember…)

Still, the real reason I haven’t been blogging is because I’m stuck. Not writer’s block. But beauty block.

I’m still in Texas, which means I am surrounded by concrete, WalMart, parking lots, streets, garbage containers, garbage. I know, I know — cities are beautiful, they’re amazing, they have gorgeous architecture and pretty people. Some photographers and writers make their career out of cities, they shoot and write nothing but.

But. But. But.

I am not one of those people, I don’t think. I have a hard time finding beauty in the cities sometimes. And especially in the outer cities, the in-between spaces that live between downtown and country. I know it’s here, but I’ve forgotten how to find it.

So, my goal this week? Take the camera out with me. Remember how to look. See what’s beautiful about the space that I’m in now.

Like how the dog lifts her nose into the wind on a sunny morning. And how the light’s fingers play with the curtains in the late afternoon. The art painted on the sides of buses. Fire ants glowing red against their dark hills. And how monarchs can surprise you by fluttering across your path at any given moment…

Far and fast, s.


“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”  ~Confucius



  1. Beauty in your surroundings is important to mental health – or so I believe. There are few good reasons to spend your time someplace that isn’t impressive and/or inspiring. What if we take the economics principal of opportunity cost and apply it to beauty? The day you spend straining to find beauty in the Texas suburbs, could it have instead been spent surrounded by meaningful surroundings elsewhere? Are you paying a deprivation cost by taking the time to try and milk some fabricated beauty out of taupe houses? You have a finite supply of days, is tomorrow best spent wondering if that dog poop really does look like Delta Burke? Or maybe it is best spent in the presence of genuine beauty?

    Yea, I am sorry for spamming you with that 🙂 It’s 4:30 on a Friday and I am killing time like a demon so I can go home. Have a great weekend!

  2. You’re posting. That’s a significant start!

    Teaching writing starts to kill my creativity. Some days I just have to turn off my classes and dive into the writing again, for me.

    Can’t wait to see the next step of your journey. I hope it is more inspiring for you.

  3. […] I posted yesterday about beauty. About how difficult it is for me to find beauty in the cities. Realizing that even in my post […]

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