While waiting for Borders Bookstore to open this morning at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, I had, for the first time in ages, NOTHING to do.  My emails had all been read (even re-read), voice mails responded to, and store windows checked out for any new outfits.  I was stuck.  I had 20 more minutes more until the store doors were to open.  After I stashed my Blackberry, I looked up and was immediately struck by some of the most vivid, intriguing, emotionally striking paintings I had seen in a long time.  And, believe it or not, they were of soccer players!
You may be scratching you head thinking, “paintings, soccer players, huh?” Sure, up until now I’ve written about appearance.  But, as you will see, this blog celebrates all kinds of beauty.  Now back to the paintings…
In support of the 2010 World Cup, ESPN commissioned South Africa based Am I Collective to paint depictions of each of the 32 teams competing in the games (the exhibit was curated by Wieden+Kennedy NY).  Inspired by hand-painted art found on the streets of South Africa, each magnificent painting tells a powerful story of a particular team.  I am anything but a sports fan.  Sure, I’m all for physical activities to stay in shape, clear my mind, etc., but I find no interest in watching or following sports.  But these paintings just mesmerized me. In fact, I was moved even hours later.
As cliché as this sounds, beauty is all around us.  We just have to look up from our tempting Blackberries, iPhones and laptops to find it.  During the jog I took a few hours later, I took this discovery to heart and really tried to take in the sights and smells of the park.  It was wonderful.  I know we’re always on the run, especially as Americans — there’s always something to do around the corner.  But let’s all force ourselves to look up and around sometimes.  We never know what beauty we may find.

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