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Seek Beauty

Seek Beauty

Sometimes, I struggle to find beauty — especially when it’s February and you live in the Midwest and everything is cold and gray. But I’ve discovered that if I stop trying to search for it, it finds me. The beauty of beauty is that the world is brimming with it, and it fills any space we open for it in our awareness. Even in this cold and gray Midwestern winter, there’s beauty on offer here — it visits me in surprisingly small ways when I make room for joy and wonder.


When My New Hometown Felt Dull, I Had to Kindle Wonder

Struggling to feel connected with the place you’re living right now? Here’s how one writer used moments of beauty to cultivate “topophilia.”

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Learn to love where you live by reading this author's personal story.

‘Why Not Live in Reckless Wonder?’ 3 Poems Bundled Around Beauty

A poem is the one call a writer is allowed from prison after being arrested by beauty — it’s is the last will and testament from a writer dying of beauty.

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Read these three poems about beauty.

Finding Beauty in Chicago

Photographer Matt Dunlap is an expert at seeking out beauty in new cities. Being immersed in his surroundings is essential to his craft, so he rides around in a Onewheel to capture unique perspectives.

“If you can explore a town and not have to walk — if you can be in the middle between walking and driving — to me, that’s the best,” he shares. Tag along with him in this video to see Chicago through his lens.

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Toni Morrison’s Beautiful Vision

Toni Morrison’s stories bear witness to the beauty of the human spirit in the vise-like grip of adversity. If you’re looking for writers to add to your bookshelf (especially during Black History Month), her novels are essential reading.

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Read how Toni Morrison preserved beauty in adversity.
(Photo credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Read this reflective narrative about Brian Doyle.

Brian Doyle’s Writing and the Practice of Wonder

Oregon author Brian Doyle said he set out to lasso “the music in and through and under all things” — so we asked a poet to dig into Doyle’s work and tell us what he finds there. 

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5 Ways to Turn Photography Into a Restorative Hobby — Even With Your Phone Camera

In the age of selfies, photography seems vain and superficial. But if we approach it as a craft and art — even with the camera in your pocket — photography can change the way we see the world. 

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Have you thought of making photography a hobby of yours?

Read this reflective narrative about pandemic music.

The Playlist that Turned My Life Around

Brandy knows a thing or two about compelling music — she creates playlists for our #GrottoMusic Spotify series. Here’s a story about how a song changed her life when she was in a dark place.

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Contemporary Dance: The Beauty of Self-Expression

When Chloe Ilene was younger, she was on the shyer side, which made it harder to connect with others verbally. She then found the beauty of expressing herself physically through dancing. Now Chloe does this for a living as the artistic director for New Industry Dance, a contemporary dance group in South Bend, Indiana.

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Have you ever connected with modern religious art? This artist wants whoever sees his paintings to do that and ask what the story is behind each painting.

Good and Decent S2|E4: From Old to New

Jacob is a bridge-builder as an artist — he’s classically trained, but also does paintings for rappers and athletes. He talks about “pushing the sacred” whenever he can — he honed his craft in Florence, Italy but brings a modern take to sacred art so that people feel connected to his paintings, especially people from underrepresented communities.

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5 Ways Your Wardrobe Can Affirm Your Dignity

Can the way we dress be more than just a superficial statement? Our fashion choices can boost our mood, increase our productivity, and bring a bit more beauty into the world. 

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Find out why and how dressing well can enhance your dignity.

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