16 January 2011

Mere Grousing

Beauty is unquestionably in the eye of the beholder. But can we be sure it isn't also found elsewhere?

One observer gets misty-eyed at the sight of a grouse, shrouded in mist, lighting on the edge of some nameless pond which, if not exactly desolate, certainly appears to have been abandoned. Or at least by any such god as our hero could honestly imagine ever leading him in vengeful battle. So much the better too, one feels, for everyone concerned: pond, grouse and hero. And yet another's eyes are dry as the dust whence she came.

There is a reason sometimes - and it's a good reason - why our imaginations are alive to precisely those features of another living thing to which a more matter-of-"fact," prosaic, unimaginative eye is blind. We aren't necessarily "just imagining" the grace-fullness, say, of a swallow in flight. Certainly, in any case, we have no right to presume the Grace is not "really there" - either in swallow or in flight. But just as like responds to like, and deep calls unto deep, and spiritual things are no less spiritually discerned, sometimes it takes nothing more than the fancy 0f one order of being - even one as dead-alive, muddled and presumptuous as the human - to discern what is playfully, whimsically, delightingly present in Another's.

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