i do wonder do u …?
I recall, at about 7 years-of-age, from my bedroom in west Cornwall, looking up out of my window at the sky. I remember it as a significant moment where I perhaps first consciously pondered ‘stuff’. But as often is the case when in proper Cornwall, it was my perception of the ‘natural’ that I was in awe of.
I looked out again last night, 40 years on, at a similar sky, from our bedroom in north-east Leicestershire (“A cloud is a cathedral without belief”. Mark Strand). Again, nature enchants me both in its fruitfulness and its aimlessness.
Something eternally elusive about the immaterial mesmerism of life and a sense of biggerness.
It puzzles me that (it seems to me) the dominant forms of what is wonderful or beautiful is the ‘natural’ – Nature.
From traditional religion through modern-day spirituality and current mindful psychology, glory is found in our perception of the sunset, the bud, the delicate, and the magnificent, natural world.
Human efforts to build on nature’s tapestry can sparkle and excite but often they fade, or fail or are tainted with underlying pretension and oneupmanship.
Am I wrong? Generally, it seems ‘stuff’ (art & craft, song & dance) created to celebrate ‘goodness’, rarely involves human achievements and or activities?
- Religions routinely celebrate all things beautiful, bright, resonant and mystical.
- Infotainment celebrates “The Blue Planet” and “The Magical Forest”.
- Visual Art celebrates our relationship with waterlilies, mountains, high seas, light, water and flesh.
- Entertainment might play with the human condition and our constructs might have moments where a hysterical hand-clapping and synthetic mirth-laden joy cause ecstatic behaviour but more often than not “Beautiful Day” is followed by “how long must I sing this song?”.
- ….perhaps it’s only in physical theatre and dance that we see celebration of human endeavour? I digress…
It seems to me we often focus on nature and the natural to see outside of ourselves…
As Emerson said, “The happiest man is he who learns from nature the lesson of worship.”
Margaret Fuller writes of Thoreau “He says too constantly of Nature, ‘she is mine.’ She is not yours till you have been more hers.”
Beckett’s Hamm and Clov deliberate “Nature has forgotten us… There’s no more nature … “
I long to see more than nature but alas… “Is it not time for my pain-killer?”
A few days later I find a hint of the type of thing i am thinking of…