1.28.2009

Aesthetica

I recently had a sort of epiphany.

I have been thinking about art and music wondering why on earth do we have so many people who write books and paint pictures and sing songs when they are not in the service of liturgical worship, but I think I was thinking incorrectly. I think that despite the fact that in an explicit way they are intended to be l'art pour l'art, all created things, people and paintings alike, are in the service of worship in that it is an imitation of God.
When God flung the stars and planets across the expanse we call the universe, He created. He created things, He created time, He created existence itself. When artists create, they create an image, but they also bring into being being itself. When musicians sing, they bring into being time. The singing of a song creates a specific time, and it manipulates time by its own dance and change. Paint changes space. And books create a new reality.
The trouble with out epoch is that most of what is created is done for the purpose of exchange and commerce, not in sacramental imitation of the Only True Reality, and that is that God created. we have the ability to imitate on various levels His creative act, and it should all stand as a work of the people for the glory of God. It is all Liturgical work. The whole of creation stands as evidence that God exists and is living through the created world. And likely sometimes weeping at our destructive liturgical act. and we pray that sometimes He weeps with joy at our feeble attempts at beauty.
I realize now that when people write (the way Dostoevsky wrote) or write music, or paint, or compose, or carve etc, and they do it rightly, it is because they can't help but respond to the beauty of life with a creative act. They look at God and have no words for the overwhelming sense of glory and sadly offer up alms that can't compare, but we revel in participating by listening, reading and looking.

3 comments:

elizabeth said...

thanks for sharing this. i know i need to remember the creative act; the goodness of God; that life is good, that the fight is worth fighting... this is all tied in to what you wrote about... thank you.

Little Macrina said...

thank you david. for your reflections.

some art, too, is an expression of being human and is the only way we can do it any justice. the most 'thorough' way we can preserve or capture the pain or joy or elation or wonder or complexity of humanity.

thanks be to God for sharing that touch of Himself which allows us to create!

Victoria said...

yes, beauty. I've had a lot of thoughts about this, and discussions with people. especially concerning art and the purpose of it.