Beauty itself is the language to which we have no key; it is the mute cipher, the cryptogram, the uncracked, unbroken code. And it could be that for beauty, as it turned out to be for French, that there is no key, that "oui" will never make sense in our language but only in its own, and that we need to start all over again, on a new continent, learning the strange syllables one by one.I've never thought of beauty as a language, but I can see it now. Beauty is a message and a meaning and a moment. Beauty needs to be learned, needs to be absorbed. When I was little, my mother would point out landscapes as we drove by. I just wanted to read my book. Why look at mountains or green fields? I only knew how to read stories, read motions, back then. These days, I am learning to read beauty: poems and still-lifes and flowers and the light. Someday I'll speak the language.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
[Quote of the Day:] Beauty
From Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: