Essays

The necessary power of beauty

“These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty . . . Our trust in the future has lost its innocence. We know now that anything can happen, from one minute to the next.”

John O’Donohue, the poet, philosopher and scholar who died in 2008, wrote those sentences in 2003, in Beauty: The Invisible Embrace. But reading it now, in the Spring of 2021, feels eerie.

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essay

There’s nothing like the exuberance of innocence

Goldenrod, Dandelion, Forest Green, Midnight Blue, Violet, Orchid, Salmon, Burnt Umber. The names of Crayola Crayons popped the curious synapses in my brain. What was Umber? Why would you burn it? I loved the way the 64 crayons stood proudly upright in their four smaller cardboard boxes inside the larger yellow and green one, demonstrating their creative potential. All of the colors fascinated me – even the ugly ones – but my favorite was Magenta. It wasn’t just the color, it was the dignity of its name. Ma-genta, Ma-genta. It was magisterial, vibrant, alive.

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essays

Power in a little tube

A few weeks ago I was sitting in the foggy morning light in my pale blue bedroom, meditating, when a declaration bubbled into my head. ‘I’m going to wear red lipstick every day when the pandemic is over.’

‘Yes,’ I thought, even though one is not supposed to think thoughts while meditating. YES. 

What better way to declare avid participation in the new world than red lipstick? When it’s safe to go out without masks, I’ll wear red lipstick. When we can be in crowds, exuberantly absorbing music and sports and food and culture with our friends, I’ll wear red lipstick. When it’s finally safe to travel again, I’ll stroll the streets in Umbria and Rajasthan, wearing red lipstick. 

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The dangerous power of surfaces

Well here we are – it’s 2021. To borrow from the guys at Pod Save America, I feel nauseously optimistic. There are so many daunting challenges to solve, and I believe we can face them.

In 2018, Tarana Burke said, “I believe we are entering a period of answers. . . . We’re trying to build something that has never existed. It is going to take every single one of us doing all the things we can at capacity in order to make that happen.”

All of us, doing all the things, at capacity. That’s quite a call to action!

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essays

Who is the universe?

This fall I wrote an essay about economic security, about my Dad, about the pandemic. It’s a bit long for a blog post, so here are a few excerpts:

My father’s father lost his father in the influenza epidemic in 1920. At age ten, Grandpa became the man of a family saddled with farm debt. He had to help support his sister and his mother, who had lost seven children as babies before she lost her husband too. And then, just when Grandpa was starting his adult life, he faced the Great Depression…

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essays

Radiant, joyful power

At the United State of Women Conference in May 2018 in Los Angeles, our new Vice President Kamala Harris talked about being a joyful warrior. That idea thrilled me.

I love the idea of a joyful, celebratory power. An unobstructed graceful fullness that creates things, that does not break them. A radiant power without limits. A power that activates talents, voices and energy. A purely female power. I’ve been working on an essay about the heritage of my own power. Here’s a bit of it…

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Designed by Kathy Hiscox of Martin Marketing

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About Lisa

Lisa Poulson, a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, was once a tech industry badass, a grieving almost-widow and a faithful Mormon all at the same time. Now a writer in San Francisco, Lisa writes about grief, love and the complex beauty of female power.

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Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.

About Lisa

Lisa Poulson is a voice in favor of the complex beauty of female power, the descendant of fiercely resilient Mormon pioneers and a woman who survived the death of her fiancé four months before their wedding. Lisa lives in San Francisco, where she spends her time absorbing and creating as much beauty as possible.

Join the conversation on Instagram!

Reminder

You are reading of your own will and choice. How you read, act on or don’t act on what you read here is up to you.

Reassurance

While lisapoulson.com does use cookies, which helps us understand how you engage with our site and where you’re from, we do NOT save your personal information - like e-mail, name or address. And, if you join our mailing list or comment on a post, we will not share (or sell) your contact information. We are not responsible for commenters or other third parties here.

Clarity

Lisa Poulson is the legal copyright holder of this blog. Contents may not be used, reprinted, or published without written consent.