Thursday, December 11, 2014

daylight, warmth, silence

"It has seemed to me for some time that beauty, as a conscious element of experience, as a thing to be valued and explored, has gone into abeyance among us. I do not by any means wish to suggest that we suffer from any shortage of beauty, which seems to me intrinsic to experience, everywhere to be found. The pitch of a voice, the gesture of a hand, can be very beautiful. I need hardly speak of daylight, warmth, silence."

- Marilynne Robinson

It seems Brainpickings has sold me on yet another book. This time, it's The World Split Open, an anthology of lectures, and you can read from Robinson's essay on the site and follow the links for the book there. 

"It is the nature of grace to fill the places that have been empty."

- Goethe

It's true that there's no shortage of beauty. Readers of this blog know my refrain well. Some days it's easier to see than others is the thing, depending on one's state of mind. Our ability to see beauty depends on how busy we are, how worried, how open, how at peace we are.

Looking at the world, I'm pulled out of myself, away. I slow down, my breathing slows.

Frost is such a beautiful occurrence. Nature's highlighter - it says, this line is important, this gesture. Look here, first.

We feel we must keep up on world politics, the local news. We should know what's happening in the world, we should know the numbers and understand the backroom deals. But this is news, too:

There was frost on December 8th. The weeds were glorious. As were the rose hedges in the suburbs near the highway.

Lastly, a heartfelt thanks to those of you who had the time yesterday to read through my essay (link above), Transactions with Beauty, and took the time to comment. Most appreciated.


  1. Oh Shawna, this is so beautiful. Love these wintery photos. And like you, I do enjoy Brainpickings. Now you have me looking for that book.

    Wishing you a lovely day....with glimpses of heaven in unexpected places!


  2. Could you imagine a world where the news we shared was all about the glorious weeds?! I will check out that essay but in the meantime, I'm going to sit with Goethe. Thank you :) xo


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