The world of appearances is crumbling. The façade is falling away, leaving us bare, naked, and exposed to the truth that lies within. Wow. That’s a heavy way to start a day! It wasn’t at all what I had in mind when I opened a new Word page, but there it is, born of its own accord.
I had more in mind continuing yesterday’s conversation about fingernails, both the bedazzled and unbedazzled variety such as my own. I’m not sure how I swooped from crumbling facades to fingernails, but there you have it. It happens.
Oh right. It happens!
Yesterday, I kept being distracted by my fingernails. They seemed to call my attention to themselves periodically, as if to say, “Hey—listen up you! There is a lesson here for you.”
Really? In fingernails?
Yes. In fingernails.
Then a funny thing happened—suddenly Dolly Parton was in my face—it’s pretty hard to miss Dolly with her gigantic presence of sequins and personality sparkling all over the place. Suddenly yesterday’s blog (Here) turned into a comparison between the worlds and lives of Dolly and the Dalai Lama—amazing teachers, each in their own way.
So anyway, what about the fingernails?
My nails have not seen an unpolished day since I was in my early teens. They have been through generations of incarnations, from healthy and strong, to discolored and fragile, to beautiful to embarrassing, and as they changed throughout the decades, like the rest of my body, they have required more and more care and cover-up.
Then I discovered the miracle of a gel manicure, the antidote to the broken, the damaged, split, snagged, the ragged. “Oh but wait,” I was warned by others. “They’ll ruin your nails.” Too late. There will likely never be a day in my life when my nails will see the light of day.
Hello pandemic, bye bye fingernail façade.
Since gel requires the equivalent of a lightweight jack hammer to be removed, there was nothing to do but watch my nails grow out a silly millimeter daily, and pray that the governor would lift the ban on nail salons before I was totally exposed. No such luck.
Two months of silly millimeters later, I took matters into my hands and unearthed the jackhammer. Look out, gel—here I come.
Surprise, surprise. My nails and I made liars out of the naysayers with their dire warnings of nail death by gel. When the façade was finally gone and the nails were laid bare, they were restored to their original, teenaged natural beauty. Renewed, regenerated, resurrected, reborn. Well, almost—they are a tiny bit wrinkled, but still . . . strong, healthy nonetheless. Imagine that.
During these weeks of pandemic nail-induced anxiety, I recognized that my focus on the state of my nails is a distraction, a reflection of so many other areas of my life. How much of what I see is focused on external distractions? Can I see beyond the tempting lure of her Dollyness into the heart and soul of His Dalainess? Can I realize the beauty that lies within the soul of each and every one of us, regardless of appearance? Can I see it within myself?
The pandemic has laid us bare by shining its light so that we may see. The old is crumbling. The new is being reborn. Though the appearance of it may be terrifying, the result will be the healing rebirth of a strong, healthy, beautiful new humanity. We are a work in progress, each in our own way. Our job is to see past the damaged and broken and look into the face of a new vision born of our own creation, and watch as it unfolds before our eyes. Regardless of appearance, it’s all good.
Note: The photo above is courtesy of New Waves of Light, a website designed by anonymous individuals around the world who share the intention of bringing light and love to a world of darkness and chaos. (newwavesoflight.org or NWOL.us).