Balance, is that it? Is beauty just good configuration? Are we, as some suggest, attracted to works of art, or even certain people, because of a well-proportioned geometric shape? I don’t know about balance being the definition of beauty.
Coming back from a visit to St Stephen’s School, Blairgowrie – a great wee school by the way – I travelled through to Dunkeld, and then by way of the Sma’ Glen back to Crieff.
A typically Scottish day, the weather mood changed from minute to minute.
The sun glinted off the Loch of Lowes, which seemed to accompany me on my journey being almost on the same level as the road in places.
Past Dunkeld and then into the Glen. The hills were dark, almost menacing, the mist settling over the top of the hills as if to say, ‘Mind your own business and keep on driving.’
Yet, both scenes were beautiful, unexpected, certainly not balanced. Enjoying the moment was key, not trying to photograph it, measure it, or capture it. The feeling as much as the fleeting scenery was part of the whole experience.
Catching a glimpse
Understandably, many look out at the beauty of creation and think that there indeed must be a God. For the believer, God is not so much in creation, but present to and through creation, which he loves and sustains.
Through it, he reveals something of himself, but it is not a personal revelation in the same way that he communicates in word and sacrament, and most perfectly in his Son, Jesus Christ.
What does lead us further into the mystery of his presence is the unexpected beauty that catches us unaware, which can be the bleak, or the dark, or even the frightening. We are called beyond ourselves and beyond creation itself to someone who surpasses us. In these moments, we catch a glimpse of God.
Please consider these words of Seamus Heaney’s poem, ‘Postscript’:
“…You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.”
When was the last time your heart was ‘blown open’ by a scene or a piece of music, a film or a painting?
Try to recall the moment and what it made you think of. Try to recapture the glimpse of God.