A Beautiful Stillness

When we think of the Middle East, our stereotypical idea includes a lot of color, action, vibrancy.  Perhaps that is where the romance in the romantic notions of the region comes from:  the contrast against what we perceive to be our own staid, stable, sometimes dreary (certainly climactically chillier) versions of existence.

But this photo, which I choose to share mostly just because it is beautiful and I’m feeling, at this moment, still and quiet and happy with the world, should show a different, wetter, more stable and simple idea of life ‘over there.’

Maybe it’s not just life ‘over there.’  Maybe it is life as a whole . . . or the way we want to see it, to look at it.  Pulsing and full at times.  Quiet and contemplative at others. Always with the possibility to reveal, somewhere, a hidden gem of gracefulness.

I challenge you, dear readers, to probe your set ideas and to discard most of those that come with labels.  That’s what I’ve been tryingt to do here, at NQR. 

There’s always another story, another perspective.  There’s always a way to find beauty around you (or at least a good chuckle).  Either of those two things will dull the edge of the worst dangers in our world.

Rainy day view through an arch in the Frankincense Museum, Salalah, Oman.


2 responses to “A Beautiful Stillness

  • Sharon

    Your words ring true today . . . maybe it’s because I’ve recently suffered the loss of my young daughter after the birth of our beautiful granddaughter. . . But also because in recent months as I’ve studied about other cultures I’ve become increasingly aware of our human ties.

    At the University Center where I work I had an opportunity to interact with a Middle Eastern family who came to make inquiries for their oldest daughter’s educational opportunities. While I saw that others were reticent to speak with them, I felt compelled to welcome them. We soon established helpful conversation, but sadly they left when someone made a comment directed to their young son. Then, this week when I went to order flowers for my daughter’s memorial service, a woman of Middle Eastern descent assisted us. We instantly made a connection as she noticebly shared my sorrow. Differences did not matter as we shared the grief of loss. She wept with me . . .

    We must shed the labels and look at every person as you said, “Always with the possibility to reveal, somewhere, a hidden gem of gracefulness.”

  • The National Symbol of Oman « Not Quite Right

    […] of a black-tie dinner for us in the West), a close second might be the Incense Burner.  The Frankincense trade originated in southern Oman, Salalah Governate, and therefore, in almost any local market the smell […]

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