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September 6, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Sept. 6, 2014

I was around 5 when my fine arts lessons started under the private tutorship of National Artist Elias Laxa. The lessons were given at home, and they lasted for over 2 years. I did faces and hands, skies and oceans, trees and deserts — all in paint, water color, charcoal, tempera and pencil. At such an early age, I learned to marvel at the beauty of nature, in particular: the wonders of the human smile.

I think nobody can live a happy and fruitful life without knowing the fullest significance of the smile, or without realizing it is a God-given gift with such powers as for diplomacy, closing contracts, winning friends and: understanding babies. Yes, babies that cry, grumble and, strangely, smile alone, at nothing but something pristine their young minds can understand better than adults. Ahh, but it must be angels they smile at, guardians who stop appearing soon as their youthful wards learn to use their memories. Perhaps.

A baby’s aesthetic sense is sharper, “more mature”, than that of a grownup, more submissive to things tender, beautiful and calming; and that is so because it has yet to grow into a horrendous world of distrust, hate and godlessness. Would that they didn’t have to grow, that they remained uncorrupted, innocent, like heaven’s cherubs. Sadly, this will never happen in the divine scheme of things. It is us adults, imperfect as we are, who must undo this imperfect world. And to do so, it will help us to remember our own childhood smiles.

It happens, you know, that months-old babies often stop crying when they see beautiful faces. My first wife, Belcy, was their frequent charm, as much as my present wife, Angie, is their allure. Angie has a smile that is almost eternal. She has her bad days just like the rest of us, but somehow she often manages to smile them away….the way I do.

Try to remember this equation: Beauty plus Smile equals Allure in all its mystifying breathlessness. Just recently when Angie turned 70, she smilingly approached a four-month-old baby that had been crying in its mother’s cradling arms; and when she and the baby came face-to-face, it started smiling and chuckling. But that’s only half the story. When I posed my face alongside Angie’s, the baby suddenly went into a howling fit..hehe..because I forgot to smile as I neared it…I think.

I have long realized that, again, nobody can live a happy and fruitful life without smiling or appreciating the smiles of others. And as I age, I get to be more aware that smiling continues to enable me to discern the positive side of things more than their negative reflections, to foster goodwill and understanding, to see the innate beauty of a world turned ugly — to extend my bonus years into the backbreaking milieu of grumpy octogenarians.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, my smile isn’t the handsomest of all. But it continues to serve me in good stead, and for that alone, please accept my everlasting gratitude. Amen.

To all my friends and others trying
to trick the clock, this essay is

Ronnie :-):-):-) Roy

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