I have spent significant amounts of time over the last few nights visiting countless online science, maths and physics magazines reading articles about beauty and truth and ‘the quest for order’. It’s amazing where Google will take you. And I wish I was joking, but I am not. You can take the girl out of academia but you can’t take the academia out of the girl. I know. I’ve tried.
It’s no wonder I’m tired.
Here is where I have landed today (*).
Beauty is always wed to something. When beauty reveals itself in quiet moments watching the fog roll through the valley, in staggering skies and glittering nights, there is always something else speaking to our soul. Those great skies have taught me of mercy. The rolling fog has bought peace. A single star has lit the sky with grace.
The murkiness of this comes from living in a consumer culture that relegates beauty to the realm of morality (more is good, beautiful is better). And so when we are surrounded by the flashing colours and convincing words that weds beauty to lies and superficiality and exclusivity and extortion we are left with a tainted and graceless beauty that I want nothing to do with.
And I don’t want my words or my life or my kids or my creativity associated with that kind of oppressive beauty.
* I say ‘where I have landed today’ because I don’t know what tomorrow’s Google rabbit warren with hold. But I do believe that my quest for objective beauty has been thwarted. Beauty, it seems, is always wed to something.