Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Too much; yet not enough.

Summer sunsets are dangerous. I enjoy the park in the evening summer sun. Grass so real, every blade a different hue, that I started to wonder if I wasn't real, or transparent... if the light would go right through me and the grass through my feet. I ponder: perhaps I know more what C.S.Lewis was talking about. Yet it's not so much the weight of glory, as the weight of reality. The truly real. But maybe that is glory. He had it at the end of The Last Battle, as well as The Great Divorce. The new heavens & new earth will be truly real - these are just the shadowlands: in our current bodies, awaiting the final redemption, we wouldn't be real enough for it. Thus pleasure at this creation has in it such sadness. Thus beauty in this world carries with it such an ache. A majestic tree glowing in the evening sun: I stand and admire, and cry and pray, until the sun sets low over the city and with the cooling air, midges. Perhaps I should avoid sunsets. Yet they draw me...

3 comments:

Caleb W said...

Ah, I like that: you capture the ache of Beauty well. I am home in North Wales and tonight I cycled with my Dad partway down the estuary, between the mountains and water and sunset. Seeing the beauty of God's creation makes me ache for Him who is not only beautiful, but who is Beauty itself, like Goodness and Truth finding its very definition in his nature and being.

Have you listened to the L'Abri talk on the Glory of God on the Bethinking website? I did last week - so mindblowing trying to imagine something of God's glory.

Which reminds me of something interested quoted in another talk from L'Abri on "Recovering Goodness, Beauty and Truth", a quote by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn that seems very relevant to these postmodern times when people are so numbed to the ideas of truth and morality:
...perhaps that ancient trinity of Truth, Goodness and Beauty is not simply an empty, faded formula as we thought in the days of our self-confident, materialistic youth? If the tops of these three trees converge, as the scholars maintained, but the too blatant, too direct stems of Truth and Goodness are crushed, cut down, not allowed through - then perhaps the fantastic, unpredictable, unexpected stems of Beauty will push through and soar TO THAT VERY SAME PLACE, and in so doing will fulfil the work of all three? In that case Dostoevsky's remark, "Beauty will save the world", was not a careless phrase but a prophecy?

So the question is, how do we go about showing people that the reaching of the imagination towards Beauty finds its true satisfaction in the living God?

Caleb W said...

Whoops, got one of my sentences rather mangled. It should read:
"Seeing the beauty of God's creation makes me ache for Him who is not only beautiful, but who is Beauty itself, which like Goodness and Truth finds its very definition in His nature and being." That'll teach me to proof-read my comments!

Oh, and the quote is from Solzhenitsyn's Nobel Lecture.

troy said...

I hope you are having a fine weekend away. I am often challenged by your voracious appetite for theological studies, and am thankful that you've taken a moment for simple yet poignant words that I understand.

Thanks for a vivid description of the sunsets. I'd never even thought to look at the ground during such events. I find that all my attempts at words for such beauty fail.

My camera fails as well, though it tries. Here's a winter sunrise in Oklahoma:

http://tinyurl.com/267z47