Sunday, March 8, 2009


Last Sunday I walked three and a half miles in the rain.

Somewhat drowsy from skipped breakfast and a week of late nights, I experienced my surroundings as in a dream:
cheerful yellow daffodils alongside a shadowy asphalt river

pumpkin-orange doors centered on a silver-gray fa├žade

blushing petals discarded in circular patches on delicious green rain-soaked lawns 

all shining dully in this translucent blue-gray light sailing on cool gusts of freshly washed air
and everything was so achingly beautiful.

And it occurred to me that I am in a stage in my life that is largely dominated by aesthetics.

(No doubt you'll have noticed, if you have been following my recent musings here.)

And I don't think that's a terrible thing.

The aesthetic quality of any entity is an essential part of its being. I'm not saying that everything should be judged solely in terms of aesthetics; indeed, this would be limiting almost to the point of ridiculousness. Ignoring aesthetics entirely, on the other hand, would be just as tragically laughable.

Within biological systems, aesthetics play a key role in perpetuating any given species. Aesthetic beauty holds amazing potential to inspire the beholder, and artistic creation—which exists not without the aesthetic—can easily mimic the divine. Aesthetics are not everything, to be sure, but certainly they merit our consideration. 

At the moment I have nothing more profound to say on the matter, except that we ought not overlook that which is here to be looked at.


Vladimir Soloviev said...

The infinity of the human soul–having been revealed in Christ and capable of fitting into itself all the boundlessness of divinity–is at one and the same time both the greatest good, the highest truth, and the most perfect beauty. Truth is good, perceived by the human mind; beauty is the same good and the same truth, corporeally embodied in solid living form. And its full embodiment–the end, the goal, and the perfection–already exists in everything, and this is why Dostoevsky said that beauty will save the world.

Mac said...

You should read SPELL OF THE SENSUOUS by David Abram. It's a sort of phenomenological study of how language is affected/created by our surroundings.