It has been a couple of years now since I discovered “3 Beautiful Things,” an exercise Clare Law initiated to enjoy the small daily pleasures amid a hectic life. I like to be thankful for the grand things, but I’ve come to value their tributaries as well. I love and like Sean with an enormity that can't possibly be squeezed into just one word or expression or gesture. In searching for articulation I collect moments like clippings. Likewise, Natalya is a constellation of synapses.
Minding and reflecting on the things that bring a kind of pleasure can lighten a day, encourage and inspire, and can make for an amusing creative challenge.
The primary difficulty is less the finding of 3 beautiful things (though this can be a challenge some days) and more the marking out the time to record them. Yes, it is amazing how much space five minutes can consume. However, 3 Beautiful Things do become easier to write with practice, and writing them needn’t follow a particular prescription, including the exceeding the “3.”
An entry for a “beautiful thing” can be:
--A complex sentence, or a series of fortunate events:
In the attempt to explain the phenomena that was The Dukes of Hazzard to Natalya, Sean and I could hardly contain the hysterical. Chuckling soon became belly laughs. Sean later decides on a new way to describe/introduce Justified: Dukes of Hazzard meets No Country for Old Men.
--Brief and charming:
Natalya appearing in the doorway testing out a Firefly inspired outfit for school tomorrow.
--It could sound a bit wrong, because what we can find endearing sometimes turns out this way:
“Or they could die,” was my contribution to the conversation and list of explanations Sean was making for why a person should share their leadership role rather than hoard it. He pauses and looks at me to acknowledge the addition without actually skipping a beat. That brief pause and its look is the beautiful thing.
--an image, form of haiku, or one word.
You can title the complete entry thematically (e.g. family activities) or with single word allusions to each (e.g. Sherlock, nose, worries). Or you can just use the date.
Natalya has been keeping them in her journal. Mine are on random scraps of paper. Some make it onto the Facebook page. They are fun to share, especially when it encourages someone to share one or three in return. I highly recommend trying it.