Saturday, December 13, 2008

The beauty of creation

I like art museums alright. I enjoy wandering around, admiring paintings and sculptures. I'm often astonished by what passes for art. Perhaps because I grew up in a working class family and we never went to art museums, or perhaps because I've never had an art history class, I find that there is a great deal about looking at art that I simply don't know. I have a friend who is AMAZING to go to museums with, because she can look at a picture and know all sorts of things. I always thought that I had a pretty unsophisticated eye. Secretly, I sort of thought that I was a clod.

Tonight, I had an epiphany while driving east on US 2, somewhere on the very eastern edge of Vermont. I came around a corner and saw a view that literally took my breath away. The moon (one night on the other side of full) was peeking up over a mountain ridge. I could only see the barest sliver of deep orange. Despite the thinness of the sliver, the moon illuminated the sky, the clouds nearby, and the edge of the mountain. It was spectacular.

As I admired the changing scene, I began thinking about other beautiful scenes I have encountered. It was then that I realized that I literally could not count the number of times in my life that I have been bowled over, silenced, humbled, and thrilled by the beauty of the natural world. The summer that I drove through Eastern Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, my face began to hurt because I would break into a huge grin every time I would come upon a gorgeous scene. It was much the same when I traveled in New Zealand.

I'm drawn to beauty in nature, not to beauty on a canvas.

I included pictures of three favorite views in New Zealand - all from the Summer of 2005, with Sare. The first is overlooking the beach at Moeraki (home of the famous Moeraki boulders, a geological oddity - they are perfectly spherical and a huge number of them are found on this beach - you can see them if you look carefully), the second is Cadrona Pass, and the third is Lake Matheson at sunrise (with Mount Cook and Mount Tasman off in the distance).


Laurie B said...

Not to mention the times at our house when we spent time in the tub talking and looking up . "Up" is where the shooting stars are. We could each talk and be heard but the special gifts were in looking outward and upward and hearing each other.

Happy New Year to you and Michelle.

May you find many a shooting star, and many a joyful experience running through your life.

Please let us know if you'll be in town, we have room here, and would love the visit. No Bird though, pooch not a good fit any where in our life. Sad to say.

Abuela Marty said...

Friday night Sean and I were driving between Las Vegas and Death Valley, admiring the full moon's light on those jagged desert mountains.

I've always wished that I could be creative enough to capture nature's glory... seems the best response is a quick prayer of adoration.

Mary said...

There is such incredible beauty the landscape, in the moonscape, in the stars at night, in the faces of others. Nice pix. Keep open to all the surprises in nature.

Happy Christmas to you and Michelle.

Wayfarer said...

Your photos are really beautiful!

Some of my most wonderful mental images are of moments I've had with the natural world at its most stunning. They remind me, in a magical way, of my place in the cosmos.

I like to go to museums, but I have to admit that it is hard for me, as a colorblind guy, to fully appreciate all that I see. Add to that my inexperience with interpreting the language of visual art, and museum hopping becomes more an experience of work than it does of leisure. That's not a bad thing; I learn a lot about how to interpret and understand as a result of spending time looking at art that way, but it is a different experience, to be sure, than simply enjoying the beauty of nature.