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An elegant woman rolled into the TEDx Stanford 2017 auditorium—regal in ways that had less to do with appearance than her countenance. She was blonde, petite, quadriplegic and attended by an aide-in-waiting with a sippy cup—just in case.
Elizabeth Jameson made art from "What is".
She was not talking about the "Art of Dying" as a prior artist (and a previous post) did, she was doing it by creating beauty just where she was.
Dying is messy and inconvenient. Death is a (bit easier) to celebrate because by the time we get around to it, it's over for them, we're still here, and there is stuff "to do" to distract us from its seeming randomness.
Elizabeth asked us to stop and think about it differently.
She asked us to celebrate the imperfect body which is "to embrace what is means to be human". Not perfect...(what life is?) but worth celebrating. The whole auditorium was captivated—if not enthralled. She seemed so fragile compared to her mechanized wheelchair but not so. Everyone around me felt it. We were in the presence of ... greatness.
This is one of the secret privileges of being a hospice chaplain but today the whole crowd got to see it. Extraordinary courage, equanimity and even playfulness at the edge—when we meet 'life as it is'.
Gratitude even for this...this life of beauty. Wabi Beauty. There is more beauty in our world because of her.