Someone once told me that beauty only comes by grace.
So it came to be that I stood with my sister in the presence of grace in the form of beauty, in the form of art, in the form of paintings that hung in long hallways that echoed as we spoke.
They were seascape paintings, images of rocky coastlines and lemon surf.
As we walked along from painting to painting, a question popped into my mind. I put it to my sister. "What would you give to be able to do this, to paint like this, to be a great painter?" I asked her.
She answered me with only silence. And one way we come to know ourselves and reveal ourselves to others is through the things we do not say, the questions we do not answer.
Since that day in the gallery the patterns of my life have risen and fallen like the waves in the paintings and have met with the patterns of other lives, also rising and falling. A wave is a pattern and with mine there has been a steady rise forward, a gentle turn left, a surge downward, and silence.
I know now that when I asked my sister that question all those years ago that I was not really asking her at all. I was asking myself.