Our kaleidoscope world: intricacies

By Dave Henning / October 12, 2022

“Beauty leaps out when we simply take the time to see, to participate.  The lesson learned, however . . . even goes deeper than taking the time to see so that we might notice the intricacies of our kaleidoscope world.  The lesson . . . is to show you another side to beauty that we seldom think about but many of us love and are drawn to — the haunting, mysterious wonder of our natural world.”- Timothy D. Willard (emphasis author’s)

In Chapter 11 (“A Haunting Clack-Clack: The Footpath of Natural Mystery”) of The Beauty Chasers, Timothy Willard talks about the mysterious side of beauty.  An aspect the author observed on a walk from Cumnor Hill to Boars Hill near Oxford, England.  Furthermore, Timothy wonders what this mysterious side of beauty says about God.

Certainly, the outside world matters.  However, Timothy cautions, we must take care not to fall into modern age thinking.  A viewpoint which sees the outside world as a resource we need to leverage.  A wilderness to tame and a possession to utilize.  Therefore, Timothy stresses, we must learn to live within the created order.  Rather than viewing ourselves as controlling stewards who subjugate nature.

Above all, the author notes, we become like the land in which we live.  Because time and geography work on us.  As a result, our minds, perceptions, and dispositions change.  In addition, the land thrills, allures, captivates, and teaches our imaginations.

In conclusion, geographer John K Wright notes the importance of the term terra incognita, or ‘unknown lands.’  Unknown lands spark the imagination as they invite physical and imaginative exploration.  Hence, Timothy explains:

“By nature, you and I fill in the cracks of the unknown.  We imagine what a place might be like based on what we know of the place we’re in.  Why?  Because the unknown enlivens our imagination and heightens our participation in the world.  It breaks through to us.  . . .  stirs us and creates within us a desire to know more.  It invites us to become seekers and questioners, so off we go!”

Today’s question: What most helps you notice the intricacies of our kaleidoscope world?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Something holy glimmers in beauty”

About the author

Dave Henning

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