The pursuit of beauty seems noble. Especially a beauty that is not slathered in gold or diamonds. A modest beauty - if there can be such a thing - a beauty seemingly attainable by everyone yet noble because it requires the mind’s eye to be honed. This is a romance. It is a fool’s game. It is pleasurable.
Today I dressed up nice and went for a haircut (Ayako-San, get this hair off my neck please!). As such I had the luxury of a detour to the nearby supermarket where I spotted.... fresh flowers! Oh if you could see the smile under my mask, my heart - my heart was beaming. ⁣

The first thing I did when I got home, even before putting the groceries in the fridge, was this: I trimmed the leaves, determined the proportion vis-a-vis the vase, and decided on this electric blue Shochu bottle for the luminous green petals of the disciplined, structured chrysanthemum. I placed it on the concrete table where I eat my dinner every day. It is done. And I felt the pleasure of participating in beauty. ⁣This evening on my post-dinner walk, I realised how fleeting this pleasure is. Isn’t it? I see it everyday in the little objects of beauty J placed around the house, because even without #circuitbreaker, he was spending everyday working from home. 

I know now how he feels, how he sought to fill those empty pockets with beauty. 

But it is not enough. 

We desire to make something noble, beautiful. We desire to make something good. It is what makes us humans, not beast - this ability to craft beauty. And in crafting we convince ourselves we are participating not in artifice. ⁣

Yet I know the one relationship that is real and satisfying is not in this, but with the God who created the flowers - the crazy abundance of flowers in the fields and wayside. In my fallenness, instead, I often opt for the beauty of my own hands, and the relationship of my own making. We want a God we can control - as with our life, as with beauty. The wisdom and beauty of his ways we cannot fully comprehend. Yet he is the same God who made the chrysanthemums and who deigns to leave us the poetry of the psalms, and the childlike parables of the gospels.


Popular posts from this blog

miracle man

on a Hou Hsiao Hsien movie set

fear not history

Saying goodbye


Taiwan Number 8

J for Jampulets