Friday, June 26, 2015

The painful beauty

I've long had an inner pain associated with especially poignant beauty.
I've not heard anybody else talk or write about it, I think, so it's interesting to find this in L.M. Montgomery's book Anne's House Of Dreams:

Silence and twilight fell over the garden. Far away the sea was lapping gently and monotonously on the bar. The wind of evening in the poplars sounded like some sad, weird, old rune— some broken dream of old memories. A slender shapely young aspen rose up before them against the fine maize and emerald and paling rose of the western sky, which brought out every leaf and twig in dark, tremulous, elfin loveliness. "Isn't that beautiful?" said Owen, pointing to it ... "It's so beautiful that it hurts me," said Anne softly. "Perfect things like that always did hurt me— I remember I called it 'the queer ache' when I was a child. What is the reason that pain like this seems inseparable from perfection? Is it the pain of finality— when we realise that there can be nothing beyond but retrogression?" "Perhaps," said Owen dreamily, "it is the prisoned infinite in us calling out to its kindred infinite as expressed in that visible perfection."

Apart from my belief that the separation is an illusion (and it fits: how can you possibly separate two parts of infinity? If they are both infinite, they'll both be the same. A limited Infinity is of course no infinity.), I think this is just as it is. Beauty connects us to the Infinite, God, Source, but because it's just a tiny connection and we long with all our soul for the full connection which we believe we don't have, it hurts.

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