So that got me thinking, because there is a certain discomfort that comes, for me, with wondrous beauty. I think I feel unworthy of it – like it’s not possible to appreciate it enough.
Add to that the fact that it is fleeting, and a beautiful day can almost put me into a panic. A small panic, mind you, but I am definitely challenged by all of this.
Can I simply relax and appreciate beauty? Now there’s a good question for JordanCornblog!
I think my problem is that I approach beauty as a consumer – as if it is a thing that I somehow need to take in. But there is far too much of it on days like we’ve recently had … and I don’t know where to put it.
I race around, taking photos as the light moves and changes. I look and look and look.
It’s disappearing, even as I try to capture it.
And I absolutely know that this isn’t really capturing anything … and in fact, I am missing the beauty, peeking at it through a camera lens.
It brings to mind Martin Buber – and I think I should probably read I and Thou again (but I can pretty much guarantee that I won’t … unless it’s available for Kindle … ;-))
The other way – the more satisfactory and meaningful way (IMHO) that Buber proposes is to relate to the world as a “Thou.” I am the subject (I) and beauty is also the subject (Thou) – and that changes the interaction entirely.
Beauty isn’t something that I use or consume … it stands on its own and I stand in relation to it.
Beauty isn’t an object of my personal experience – it is separate and complete. It doesn’t need me to see and appreciate it. It just is.
I can’t quite wrap my head around this, but it feels important to me. I interact with beauty. I accept it gratefully and am not responsible for it and can’t hold it or let it go. I open to it and it gives itself to me, somehow. The more permeable I let myself be the more I can feel it.
Excruciating beauty, terrifying beauty. To fully experience the I and Thou-ness of life it seems we have to let ourselves be open and permeable while also letting in the bottom-line separateness of everything and the kind-of-ultimately-challenging fact that we are not the center of the universe.
Doing all of that … I think … somehow opens the door to a level of relatedness and connection that is the stuff of mystical ecstasy.
So that’s what I think today … that and the fact that the Eagles are going to shock the Broncos this afternoon!
Oh … and I and Thou actually is available for the Kindle.