Saturday, July 23, 2011

safe from the snipers

It's been a flat of those seasons where everything is bland and there's seemingly nothing from which to be inspired (about which? for which? who knows). I fumble with the settings of my complicated camera trying to squeeze out technically "good" photos with results as uninspired as the effort.

Then my girls come to the office for lunch. Isabella finds a place to nest among the skyscrapers where she's "safe from the snipers". What does that mean? Who knows, but it's pure Isabella and essentially beautiful. All that's on hand is a cheap cell phone with a sensor the size of a peso and no controls--not even a real shutter button. But there it is, a moment of essential beauty captured. Maybe not perfectly, but effectively captured, and--whatever it does for others--while part of me may pine for "better" equipment, that part is overwhelmed by the memory of beauty that resonates from the captured moment. It was a beautiful moment observed and communicated without complication.

Maybe it's easier to see essential beauty when not distracted by technicalities. Surely it's more effectively communicated without complication. But inspired work from unpracticed hands is myth. So is communication without competence.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

CS Lewis on our problem being that we desire too little

From “The Weight of Glory” Chapter 1, Paragraph 1:

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.