See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, November 14, 2011

Blogs, Blogging, Bloggers



Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting. - Proverbs

That verse from Sunday's first reading has been going through my mind since Saturday.

Art source.

16 comments:

  1. I was going to blog about Proverbs 31, that is well spooky!
    Love the painting, very dramatic!
    Blessings and prayers,
    Ann

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  2. That's stunning, Terry. Love it.

    Strangely, I've also been stuck by something from Proverbs for a couple weeks now: folly. So I'm sketching her now, actually. I adore the wisdom literature.

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  3. +JMJ+

    Did the skull have a real life model/inspiration?

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  4. I always thought the proverb applied first and foremost to Cosmo girls - and the like. Bloggers, yeah sure, why not.

    And there are bloggers who have recently been banging on and on about "beauty" like they knew what they were talking about. Obsessed with beauty like those high Renaissance pantywaists. Thinking it reducible to a formula. Quite deceived.

    True beauty is a maiden that absolutely refuses to be courted.

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  5. Love the picture! And the proverb!

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  6. Terry: An 11.

    Paul:

    I have no problem with the younger folk blogging about beauty. I remember a few years ago when I was their age, and the idea of beauty and perfection (at an objective level) was laughed at and scorned.

    Even if beauty is fleeting, or un court-able, or even unable to be reduced to a formula, i say more power to them.

    To quest for beauty, is a drive in people that I mind not seeing. It takes you upon a proper journey in life, and allows you to learn much along the way.

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  7. Where did you get that photo of me?

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  8. Cath? Cathy? Cathy? Is it really you?

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  9. Joe, you misunderstand my comment. Nothing to do with what I was talking about. I'm not scorning or laughing at the idea of beauty, nor the quest for it - on the contrary - but the idiotic idea of beauty as put forward by people who don't know what they are talking about.

    To put it very briefly, they don't believe in beauty enough.

    She won't be courted not because she's aloof, but because she is omnipresent.

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  10. Paul:

    That is an interesting way of putting it, and that being the case, I certainly did misunderstand your first comment.

    That is an interesting comment... that they dont believe in it enough. Something rubbed me odd about the posts, but I chalked it up to youthful exuberance... too much passion and not enough contemplation.
    Action without thought.

    Reducing it to a formula ... well, Aquinas did that, but I understand it wasn't to define it, or capture what is the essence of beauty... but to try and explain it in some way... maybe it had to do with your notion of its omnipresence.

    I would love to hear more... my mind is in circles over this now.

    :)

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  11. Yes, Aquinas! He defined, as you know, the three principles of beauty - claritas, proportio, integritas.

    The thing is, it does not necessarily work conversely: it doesn't necessarily mean that if one gets down those principles in his work of art that therefore - voila! - he produces beauty.

    I am not at all against defining and explaining and in all other ways working towards a greater understanding of beauty. But there is a risk, a very real danger.

    For instance, those who obsess about beauty make beauty ugly by their very obsession. They turn it into a facsimile, an idol and a fetish. Hence, beauty "refuses to be courted" - thank God.

    Perhaps you know this phrase: Look after truth and goodness and beauty will look after herself.

    Or: Take care of truth and goodness and beauty will take care of herself.

    It leaves a lot to be said, but how true it is. It's not saying, "do not seek beauty"; rather it's kind of showing the way in which we are to seek her.

    People who prize their pornography hold it as something "beautiful" in their subjective way. They don't look at it because they find it ugly - though it is indeed ugly.

    A woman giving birth to a child is not exactly the kind of thing you find on a magazine cover. You aren't going to find the phrase "attractive childbirth" in print any time soon or ever. Yet to the husband present who knows his wife perceives what courage and strength she manifests in labour can find such a moment one of the most beautiful things in his life.

    What am I getting at? Just this: beauty, objective beauty, is ultimately too large for our containment and it causes us to change, to be purified - it enlarges us. Though the human figure is beautiful because God made the human figure it does not necessarily follow that the human figure shown naked in its due proportions causes that purification and wonderfully traumatic change.

    The woman in labour is taking care of truth and goodness and objective beauty is manifested to the husband present. It's not merely in the eye of the beholder. For the intimate knowledge of his wife makes the scene at its most real. The objective and the subjective meet in full.

    We wear clothes not just to keep out the elements but to protect our dignity - because to be reduced to our body alone and naked is humiliating. Thus only a woman's husband is to see her naked in their objective matrimony and likewise the husband only seen naked by his wife (with the exception of doctors). It is the very reason that our bodies our beautiful that we clothe them.

    The notion of the beauty of the naked body as some kind of "anti-pornography" (and merely by dint of its showing the body in its due proportions? Give me a break) and that pornography in fact "doesn't show enough" is wrong-headed - no matter what implementations Pope John Paul II made for more nudity in art.

    I'm rambling now and sorry for this long comment. But thank you Joe, this gets to be an interesting discussion.

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  12. Paul:

    yes, there are some really cogent statements in there:

    "it does not necessarily work conversely: it doesn't necessarily mean that if one gets down those principles in his work of art that therefore - voila! - he produces beauty." Yes... I think Aquinas himself said as much.

    "They don't look at it because they find it ugly - though it is indeed ugly." I wrote a post about this, and the whole idea of "Pleasure" - the sin isn't the lack of beauty, but the seeking of something that is essentially good, that has been hence distorted (read: deceived) and calling it beautiful, for pleasures sake.

    "The woman in labour is taking care of truth and goodness and objective beauty is manifested to the husband present. It's not merely in the eye of the beholder. For the intimate knowledge of his wife makes the scene at its most real. The objective and the subjective meet in full." This is profoundly accurate.

    In the end, I think I get what you are saying, and I am glad I had you do this. As I said, I agree with most of what you are saying, but at the same time dont mind their pursuit of the beauty, and I do think it was done with good intent... but we know what good intentions are...

    Hmm... now I want to read Aquinas on this some more... :)

    I wonder if those that seek beauty in this way, and seek it with such bravado do so because they have never really seen it? Or only seen it in fleeting glances from afar? Since beauty is that... "A face to launch a 1000 ships" powerful, maybe it is a drug that has made them forget all else, and seek only her?

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  13. The line from Proverbs is taken from last Sunday’s first reading (33rd ordinary time - A) and is incomplete. It continues... “the woman who is wise is the one to praise.”

    The first, second and gospel readings of the day refer to our need to prepare and stay awake for the coming of the Lord, not to waste time and talents idling in things that are not important for salvation.

    Bright and shiny charms of the world may attract and seduce, but are always fleeting.

    “All flesh is grass and its beauty like the wild flower’s. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on the on them. (The grass is without doubt the people) The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:6-8)

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  14. Charmed, I'm sure.

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