Beauty to Make You Cry Your Heart Out

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I start with sadness and distant grief over the lives lost and wounded in the terrorist attack in New York City. I think of the Argentine men in the middle of a joyous 30-year high school reunion, in a city of their dreams, their lives suddenly taken or permanently injured. My grief is distant because I don’t know them, but distant things have their own reality, not always blurred or dim.

We sometimes get alerted to beautiful actions (reunion plans, acts of generosity, etc.) only when they are cut short; we do not know much of what exists around us, especially the good. Maybe certain kinds of beauty and goodness (not identical, but overlapping and intersecting) escape our notice because they seem ordinary. A reunion of high school classmates? A trip to New York City? Nothing there to call our attention until we see the spirit and heart that went into the planning. Granted, their trip would have been their own business, not a public matter, if it hadn’t been ruined; there would have been no reason for anyone but their family and friends (and possibly a few strangers) to know about it. But even when we know about such things, we may fail to see them.

Szolnok has its own history of grief, spread over many centuries. It isn’t known as the most beautiful of cities, but explore just a little, and you find beauty to make you cry your heart out. Here are just a few photos from the past two days, some taken on foot, others on bike. My internet connection will be slow for a while (probably until December), but if I get to a cafe today, I’ll add a few explanations and descriptions. The photo at the top (which I took on bike) is of swans in the Zagyva and a man walking along the bank. There was a dog too, but he didn’t make it into this photo. I think the slow upload (which took over an hour in all) brought me closer to these photos; I didn’t want to leave any of them out. I will welcome a faster connection, for many practical reasons, but I find something good in the slowness.

P.S. A trip to the bookstore this afternoon yielded some lovely leaves, including Hungarian translations of Shakespeare’s sonnets and The Tempest.

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I made a few changes to this piece after posting it (and added the P.S.).

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