Let’s talk about the courageous women in Iran who are standing up for their human rights in the face of horrific repression and persecution. Let’s talk about their bravery, their hope, and their determination. Let’s talk about their shared ecstasy as they laugh, sing, dance and cry tears of joy in the streets.
Let’s talk about the look a couple give one another. The secret, personal, love-filled glance which envelops the other in warmth. The glance that says everything, that reassures, that praises, that admires. A smile with the eyes, and at the same time a laugh, a kiss, a hug.
Let’s talk about the joy of a retired couple approaching you in public and speaking excitedly for 20-minutes, telling you all about their cruise and their future Christmas plans with family in South Africa.
Let’s talk about a friend’s achievement. The realisation of a long-held goal, the beam on their face as they inform you they passed the interview and were offered the job. Let’s talk about their success. Let’s celebrate the realisation of their dedicated hard work.
Let’s talk about the Mediterranean coast on a clear day. An empty blue sky, the soft lapping of waves on the shore, and sunlight cascading down warming your soul and your face.
Let’s talk about laughter.
Let’s talk about the passion of a music producer putting their heart and soul into entertaining their fans, loving every second of their set despite having played these songs a thousand times or more.
Let’s talk about the gratitude and warmth in a text from a mother to a son. The ease by which old friends slot straight back in. Birdsong.
Let’s talk about the teary greetings and heartfelt embraces from citizens in newly liberated areas. The relief on their faces, the joy in their eyes, the unspoken thanks which can never be put into words or paid back and will never be asked for.
Let’s talk about sitting in a sunlit courtyard surrounded by Roman architecture, sipping idly on a coffee watching the world go by.
Let’s talk about the beauty of freckles on the bridge of a woman’s nose. Let’s talk about belonging. Let’s talk of family.
Let’s talk about a group of colleagues coming together to say “thank you, goodbye, and good luck” to someone who is moving on to pastures new. Let’s talk of their achievements and of their legacy.
Let’s talk about the innocent wonder and intrigue held by children.
Let’s talk about the beauty of solidarity. Of a woman who has recovered from appalling torture and is now looking to a better future, in safety and in happiness. Let’s talk about making plans for a reunion with a best friend.
Let’s talk about a random weekday evening in the company of four generations of the same family, sharing card games, quizzes, and jokes. Let’s talk about sacrifice. And unexpected presents. And a mother and father celebrating a pregnancy when all hope seemed lost.
Let’s talk about a smile between strangers. Let’s talk about a man holding an umbrella over his partners head to protect them from the rain. Let’s talk about the glowing Adriatic sunsets that make you want to give thanks for being alive.
Let’s talk about catching someone making a silly pose for a photo and each of you sharing a laugh and a smile at this most random and embarrassing of acts. Let’s talk about a cat napping quietly on a cardboard box. And of a father holding his young daughter in his arms as they mime the words to their favourite song in the bathroom mirror.
Let’s talk about the beauty of pale skin. Of tanned skin. Of dark skin.
Let’s talk about public displays of affection. Of a secluded Chapel carved into the rock on a hillside. Of a lesbian couple walking hand-in-hand with no fear, shame or anxiety.
Let’s talk about two strangers finding common connection. Let’s talk about the happiness someone experiences when they hear a song they love but haven’t heard in years. Let’s talk about nostalgia.
Let’s talk about the beauty of body art. The use of our bodies as canvasses. The ability to be creative and expressive with this vessel we know as “me.”
Let’s talk about cats basking in the sun, with their heads raised to the sky and eyes closed, a gentle purr emanating from them like the soft murmurings of an engine. Let’s talk about rambling voicenotes. Let’s talk about red leaves on trees. Let’s talk about jazz.
Let’s talk about septum piercings. About planning reunions with friends in random European cities and counting down the days until you see one another again. Let’s talk about the thoughtful nature of book recommendations. Let’s talk about deep meaningful conversations.
Let’s talk about intimacy.
Let’s talk about the indifference to the loss of material items. The knowledge that everything we own is borrowed. The realisation that what really matters isn’t the stuff we each accumulate.
Let’s talk about sustainable and organic food. The rustling of piles of leaves on the pavement as you walk through them. The season’s first snow.
Let’s talk about the sudden beauty of emerging from a tunnel and being in a totally different landscape and environment. Let’s talk about the beauty of helping strangers. Let’s talk about dedication. Commitment.
Let’s talk about a shy kiss on the cheek. The urge of those who give it, the surprise of those who receive, and the memory of it that lingers long after the kiss has faded. Let’s talk about sharing food. And the poise and elegance of someone who can ice skate really well.
Let’s talk about winter illuminations, comfortable silences, and holding hands. Let’s talk about the beauty of untouched blankets of white snow or the peace of a deserted harbour. Let’s talk about the genius scientific marvel of vaccinations and the lives that are saved thanks to them.
Let’s talk about thunder and lightning, the resulting calm after the storm, the still waters and the sun on your face.
Let’s talk about the hypnotic dance of flames. Let’s talk about the ecstasy of bird watchers rediscovering a bird they had thought was long extinct. Let’s talk about progress. Let’s talk about victories for the underdog.
Let’s talk about the beauty of castles, of crisp, frosty mornings, and of having a sense of purpose. Let’s talk about the soothing beauty of gospel, chanting and singing in religious buildings. Let’s talk about family reunions, of self confidence, of a dog who can’t contain their excitement to see you.
Let’s talk about resilience and long-running in-jokes. Let’s talk about sacrifice.
Let’s talk about the spots on a human body sensitive to the touch of another, the trust that is shared when they are revealed and exposed, and the tingle that is felt when a hand brushes across them. Let’s talk about lips. And the flush felt and seen when the heartrate starts to increase.
Let’s talk about beauty.