discretion, friendship, humor, life lessons, love, mindfulness, motivation

Just Another Musing

I came across this little sentence this morning (though there was no attribution, so forgive me) – “An ugly personality destroys a pretty face.” Sounds like something my maternal grandmother might have brought with her from the ‘old country’,  packed in the suitcase with the two silver candlesticks.  (There were some great Yiddishisms that don’t necessarily translate too well, but they’re so evocative – “may every tooth in your mouth rot except one, and may that one ache for the rest of your life”.  Who came up with this?)  Sorry – off on a tangent.  Anyway, I never met her, though I was blessed with her name.  I still think I’m too young for the heft of “Miriam”, though it’s a name I have grown to love.  True, in the Bible she saved her brother (which one really can’t dismiss, for it was reflective of love and bravery and selflessness and there wouldn’t be a whole lot to write about if Moses hadn’t made it), but she died from leprosy – not exactly a happifying ending for a really nice girl.

Our family’s Miriam – my grandmother – appears in photos as this beautiful, serious grown-up with incredibly wise eyes and lips that remain fixed in a straight line.  She betrays nothing in those few pictures – not what she has seen, endured, celebrated or lost.  And arguably there wasn’t a lot for her to smile about until my sister was born and I believe that her arrival was her greatest joy, the most affirming, gorgeous, delicious experience she would ever know.  I wish there were pictures of her holding Deb, for I think she would have been breathtaking, revealing far more than a stoic image with beautiful features.

And that really is just it – what distinguishes one lovely structured visage from another?  What echoes in your soul when your memory constructs its image of a person?   The initial description is often cosmetic – the color of a person’s hair and eyes, relative height and overall appearance.  Laws of attraction come into play, I realize, which brings me to another one of my grandmother’s great lines – “an owl to one, is a nightingale to another”.  I realize that some people are physically more attractive than others, and I am definitely vain enough to want to qualify for the more positive adjectives that can be applied to short women (though I really feel that ‘perky’ and ‘cute’ can’t compete with ‘gorgeous’ and ‘stunning’, but whatever).

So with those caveats, life has also been lived long enough for me to see that with a second look, there is nothing that diminishes or enhances a person more than their core.  Some of the most good-looking people I have met are also the least appealing.  Smiles that at best are disingenuous and at worst don’t reach the eyes, callous comments and narcissistic perspectives.  Too much lipstick and too little warmth; six pack abs and an empty ‘can o’ care’ inside.  Eyes that search for the next-thing-that-isn’t-good-enough and never settle upon a magical moment.  Hands that are ridiculously smooth because they haven’t held onto anything for dear life.  The most beautiful people I know are not indifferent to their appearance at all.  They also don’t define beauty too narrowly.   I gravitate to the magnificence of an open heart, the delicate touch of kindness, the warmth of an expansive smile.  I think most of us do.  At a certain point you realize that the reflections of a person’s heart redefine the parameters of attractiveness.

Or as my grandmother used to say “pretty is as pretty does”.  Have a great Sunday everybody.



56 thoughts on “Just Another Musing”

  1. Think of a rainbow, a creative object in the sky. Is the rainbow beautiful? The rainbow is an emanation of an active process, the interaction of water and sunlight in motion. Once the creative process between water and sunlight vanishes the rainbow is gone. What you see as anything in this universe is an emanation, a visage thrown out by an active creative process. The creative process is beautiful even if it is a great thunderstorm or a tornado that destroys a town, there is beauty in it. The ugly is that which is going against its nature, against the universe, such as the beating of a puppy, this comes over as ugly, it makes the person harming the puppy ugly. Beauty is the result of a creative process in motion, never an end state but a process happening now in a state of becoming.

  2. My mother was named Miriam as well (don’t know if I ever told you that!)
    The warmth of the smile on your face is your gift to all of us ❤ Thank you for brightening my world.

    1. I didn’t know that Helaine..how cool to learn something new today! As for brightening your world – it’s a reflection of what you do to mine..<3

  3. Mimi your words weave magic this morning. I can feel your grandmother looking down with her lips turned up “just-so” (almost a smile) and while for you her legacy lies is the passing down of her profoundly wise expressions, it remains quite a legacy nonetheless because you have her wisdom and it appears in every choice of metaphor, every lesson shared and it is scattered every day you pull up with the Karma Truck. Miriam. It has always suited you. It is comforting to know you have grown into it at your own pace. Happy Sunday.

    1. Hi love … It’s funny, the only person who ever called me ‘Miriam’ was my dad – when he would wake me up for school (“Miriam Ann, it’s time to get up..Miriam Ann” ). I can ‘hear’ him because it was always the first thing I heard each day. I’m still a ‘Mimi’ I think, though perhaps my soul is becoming a ‘Miriam’. As for your loving bias for these stops on the Karma Truck – I am forever grateful for your love and generosity. It is your spirit, and it is truly gorgeous..xox

  4. Mimi,
    It sounds to me like you were blessed with more than your grandmother’s name -which is beautiful, by the way. You got her sense of humor and her wisdom and you express it in your own unique and gentle way.

  5. Such a simple and vital message, that should be passed down to future generations. My grandmother had a pocket full of wise sayings too, which I refer to like a Bible, especially now that she’s gone. Unfortunately, back in the day, I think they were instructed not to display any emotion in photos. I’m grateful that my Grandmother lived long enough to smile and hug in pictures and videos. Your grandmother’s eyes were full of love and wisdom, behind a beautiful face. In your case, Miriam means a beautiful person, inside out. Thanks for the words of wisdom. Have a great day! Xo

    1. Hi Fran..It does seem that the whole idea of smiling for pictures came a bit later. I love these sayings and axioms that live on in perpetuity (here’s another “for every pot, there’s a lid”). 🙂 I think my grandmother was probably a very wise soul, from all I have heard. Thank you for stopping by today and for your kind words and beautiful heart. xo

  6. Truer words were never spoken, honey. I’ve been amazed on numerous occasions to find that a “beautiful” person is actually quite unattractive in spirit and happily, vice versa. You, my friend, are GORGEOUS inside and out….xoxo, l

  7. I gravitate to the magnificence of an open heart, the delicate touch of kindness, the warmth of an expansive smile. I think most of us do. At a certain point you realize that the reflections of a person’s heart redefine the parameters of attractiveness … Absolutely. Absolutely you, too. And I’m thrilled you’re another Lindsey Stirling fan xx

    1. Simon hi!! I hope you got my message on your blog – I’ve missed far too many of your posts, for reasons I do not know. It’s wonderful as always to ‘hear’ from you..hoping all is well and thank you for confirming that which I already know – that you would define beauty in no other way. And yes, I am so happy that I’ve been introduced to Lindsey Stirling – she is amazing on every level. xx

  8. Thank you for yet another delightful and heart-warming post that is full of wisdom, Mimi. I’m blessed to have found you. I know that you sometimes downplay or don’t quite believe in your writing skills, but I wish you could see what we see in your posts. A great writer came up with each of these sentences: “Too much lipstick and too little warmth; six pack abs and an empty ‘can o’ care’ inside. Eyes that search for the next-thing-that-isn’t-good-enough and never settle upon a magical moment. Hands that are ridiculously smooth because they haven’t held onto anything for dear life.” A greatness of spirit is reflected in them, and they reflect a great talent.


    1. Oh Russ…I do’t know what to say. Thank you, thank you – as always, I find myself thanking you. If my self-confidence isn’t what it should be and it doesn’t stop me from posting, then so be it. I’ll keep working on it, and in the interim appreciate that you’re still reading these posts with that gracious heart of yours..m

    2. Russ is right, Mimi, this post was especially rich is resonant phrases. The “hands that are ridiculously smooth” was my favorite. Flat-out magnificent. Full stop, as our pal DK would say! 😉

      1. Oh no..don’t go start quoting DK!! Do you know how hard it is for me to come up with a response to him?? 😉 I’m always thrilled when I string some words together and they work (and for those who write professionally, as you do, it is high praise indeed)..xo

    1. I am SO not letting you get away with such self-deprecation (after all, this is my blog…:-))..You’re a beautiful woman Jill – inside, outside, all ways (despite your incredible affection for felines and ‘meh’ approach to dogs, which is still something we have to talk about :-))..xo

  9. Great post. I did not know your full name was Miriam. Lovely name.
    I can’t remember if I ever told you than I am ‘Mimi’ too.
    It is my children’s nickname for me.
    No-one else ever calls me that but letters and emails back and forth between us are always, ‘Dear Mimi, Or Hi Mim’

    So we are soul sisters.

  10. I had a grandmother named Miriam too. And it was a pleasure getting to know just a wee bit about yours. What I wanted to say, though, is that I don’t think that looks or beauty matter so much, in finding a friend… Neither the beauty on the outside or the beauty on the inside. Nor kindness. Those are all valuable characteristics, including the beauty on the outside. But usually, is a few little things, that capture our hearts… and who are we to demand perfection from anyone. And then, once we’ve found our friend, we have to learn how to balance life between us… how to complement what he lacks with what we have, and what we lack with what she has… and so on.

    1. Hi Shimon, It’s good to hear from you…And I agree with a small caveat..It is some little thing – whether it is representative of an inner beauty or outer beauty which governs our individual laws of attraction. A crooked pinky, a slight smile, a dry comment – all may be elements of what we find attractive in another and prompts us further. Once we find our friend, that initial draw may be replaced by any other qualities that are far more important..And learning how to complement each other’s ife is definitely that of which long unions are made.

  11. I liked this post and felt you have a real knack for storytelling. I enjoyed especially how you shared your grandmother Mimi, and now also knowing you feel you are growing into the Miriam. Your commenters are very devoted, that is a richness like your family.

    1. Thank you! We are a very devoted group one that has grown in depth as we all come to understand increasing aspects of who we are. And you are right – it is in many ways like the richness of my family..so glad that you are a part of it all!

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