I was about to turn off the TV when the commentator's statement caused me to pause.
"This is a brilliant world we live in," he said. Granted the sight directly in front of his eyes and mine, almost 7000 miles away, was inspiring. Athletes from around the world smiled, hugged, snapped pictures, mingling as if one during the closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics.
But my own reaction caught me even more by surprise.
That word sounded so contrary to the majority of descriptors I usually hear about the state of the world, that I simply sat on the couch and stared at the screen.
Brilliant – giving off light, lustrous, exceptional, grand
I found myself desperately wanting to believe it. Like the survivor of any prolonged drought, I had forgotten what brilliance looked like, what a cool sip of water tasted like, much less a fresh perspective.
In short, I had forgotten to look for brilliance, or recognize it when I saw it. Prior to Covid and the constant barrage of distressing Breaking News, I had known there was brilliance. Somehow I had allowed it to dull.
Then a couple of days later, Brilliance appeared at a Starbucks. Drew and I had stopped for mid-afternoon caffeine outside of Atlanta, during one of our 8-hour driving days to our condo in Portland, Maine. While waiting, I noticed a bulletin board overflowing with colorful Post-its.
I took a closer look.
At least a hundred notes declared their messages of hope, happiness and encouragement (along with the occasional "Steve/Mickey was here"). No matter how cliché the phrase, I found my smile grow and mood lighten. When I read the pink note telling me to "Breathe, you got this!" I actually felt that I did, whatever IT was. In that moment, sipping my Frappuccino, I was surrounded by a community of Brilliance.
Yesterday, Brilliance literally hit me in the head on my morning walk.
And showed up a few hours later at Portland Head Light in an artist's creativity.
Brilliant is back in my vocabulary – having never left my life or the world – but is in desperate need of polishing.