Challenging to me
‘The Christian faith is not primarily about human doing; the gospel is not reducible to the barebones formal injunction, “Look at Christ and imitate a wholesome way of life,” or “Understand God and act accordingly.” The Christian faith is not primarily about human doing but about human receiving. The barebones formal injunction to which the gospel can be reduced is, “Recieve yourself and your world as a new creation.”’
(Miroslav Volf, Practicing Theology, ’Theology for a Way of Life’)
Thinking about the Bronx and all the color and the kids and the hot hot heat.
Taken in New York, July 2012.
I think knowing how to name beauty could be a very important thing. Not only for makers of art, but for human souls (and human bodies) because it seems to be greatly important and yet greatly missed. Its name has been so often given to things that are not in fact beautiful (much like with truth and romance and love) that authentic beauty is in the end left without its own descriptor.
Still, there is a remarkable way in which truth prevails. Beauty will go on being beautiful in the midst of our confusion about it, love will maintain a steady pulse as we fumble around with it, and romance will blossom in it’s often unlooked-for places of growth.
I’m glad for that. Eager to grow more and more familiar with them all.
Indeed, an essential function of genuine beauty, as emphasized by Plato, is that it gives man a healthy “shock”, it draws him out of himself, wrenches him away from resignation and from being content with the humdrum – it even makes him suffer, piercing him like a dart, but in so doing it “reawakens” him, opening afresh the eyes of his heart and mind, giving him wings, carrying him aloft.
Too often, though, the beauty that is thrust upon us is illusory and deceitful, superficial and blinding, leaving the onlooker dazed; instead of bringing him out of himself and opening him up to horizons of true freedom as it draws him aloft, it imprisons him within himself and further enslaves him, depriving him of hope and joy. It is a seductive but hypocritical beauty that rekindles desire, the will to power, to possess, and to dominate others, it is a beauty which soon turns into its opposite, taking on the guise of indecency, transgression or gratuitous provocation. Authentic beauty, however, unlocks the yearning of the human heart, the profound desire to know, to love, to go towards the Other, to reach for the Beyond. If we acknowledge that beauty touches us intimately, that it wounds us, that it opens our eyes, then we rediscover the joy of seeing, of being able to grasp the profound meaning of our existence, the Mystery of which we are part; from this Mystery we can draw fullness, happiness, the passion to engage with it every day."
Meeting with Artists
Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
The Terrace, Saint-Tropez by Henri Matisse, 1904
Eating roasted chestnuts and sweet potato out of the hand.
A lovely idea, isn’t it.
A little bit of snow sticks to the ground outside still; it tried all throughout the night to build up but I think the earth is still too warm.
Amrita Sher Gil
Oil on Canvas