Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious element of all,
I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water
at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,
hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page
in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know
where to look for the good parts.
~Tony Hoagland “Field Guide” from Unincorporated Persons in the Late Honda Dynasty.
We do not want merely to see beauty…
we want something else which can hardly be put into words-
to be united with the beauty we see,
to pass into it,
to receive it into ourselves,
to bathe in it,
to become part of it.
We discern the freshness and purity of morning,
but they do not make us fresh and pure.
We cannot mingle with the splendours we see.
But all the leaves of the New Testament
are rustling with the rumour
that it will not always be so.
Someday, God willing, we shall get in.
~C.S. Lewis from The Weight of Glory
Part of the joy of beauty
is the realization that it is part of a larger whole,
most of which appears to be just out of sight.
We are drawn forward toward something…
and left waiting, wondering.
~N.T. Wright from Life, God and Other Small Topics
Each day brings headlines that tear at us, pull us down and rub us with mud. We are grimy by association, sullied and smeared.
Still, in our state of disgrace, Beauty is offered up to us, sometimes out of the blue, unexpected but so welcome.
In His last act with those He loved, Jesus shared Himself through a communal meal,
then washed and toweled their dirty feet clean, immersing them, despite their protests, in all that is beautiful and clean. He made the ugly beautiful.
He took on and wore their grime on a towel around His waist.
It is now our turn to help wash away the dirt from whoever is in need. He showed us how to help others look for the good parts.
This year’s Lenten theme:
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4: 18