14 January 2010

Inhabiting the Divine Aesthetic

What I choose to call the Divine aesthetic is essentially minimalist, readily comprehensible, and devoid of pretense. I recall a man once, who when asked what his accomplishments might be, said that he collected views. Those who thought that he was making an obscure reference to an accumulation of paintings or photographs, perhaps even picture postcards from a life-time of holidays, were wide of the mark. The old fellow simply meant that when he climbed a hill, or turned a bend in a country lane, or watched a sunset over the water, he appreciated the beauty of what he saw, and he absorbed the moment with subdued joy. They then asked him, "yes, but what did you do with your life?" He thought for a moment, having misunderstood the intent of the question, and chimed, "I said thank you for those views."

The Divine aesthetic is much like this example. Nothing is accomplished, yet here is where life is lived. We prosper in the gift of our own creation, and not in the illusion of our attainments.

God collects a bit of dust, and makes a man. Man responds by gathering a bit of dust and making a pot.

That was, possibly, the birth of hutzpah. Better the man had said "thank you" for his life, and inhabited the Divine aesthetic without guile or motive.

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