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We demand windows.

we demand windows

“Each of us by nature sees the whole world from one point of view with a perspective and a selectiveness peculiar to himself . . . We want to see with other eyes, to imagine with other imaginations, to feel with other hearts, as well as with our own . . . We demand windows.”

-C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism


February 13, 2011   No Comments

On the Outside of the World

waiting to get in

“We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words — to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. . . That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul; but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into human face; but it won’t. Or not yet. . . .

At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.”

-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory


February 6, 2011   No Comments

Killing boredom

“The supremacy of God in the life of the mind is not honored when God and his amazing world are observed truly, analyzed duly, and communicated boringly. Imagination is the key to killing boredom. We must imagine ways to say truth for what it really is. And it is not boring. God’s world – all of it – rings with wonders. The imagination calls up new words, new images, new analogies, new metaphors, new illustrations, new connections to say old, glorious truth. Imagination is the faculty of the mind that God has given us to make the communication of his beauty beautiful.”

-John Piper, God Is Not Boring


January 30, 2011   No Comments

A Painful Paradox

“I think that all artists, regardless of degree of talent, are a painful, paradoxical combination of certainty and uncertainty, of arrogance and humility, constantly in need of reassurance, and yet with a stubborn streak of faith in their own validity no matter what.”

-Madeline L’Engle


January 23, 2011   No Comments

Start Where You Are

“Whether we are poets or parents or teachers or artists or gardeners, we must start where we are and use what we have. In the process of creation and relationship, what seems mundane and trivial may show itself to be a holy, precious part of a pattern.”

-Luci Shaw


January 16, 2011   2 Comments

This Submerged Sunrise of Wonder

“The object of the artistic and spiritual life was to dig for this submerged sunrise of wonder; so that a man sitting in a chair might suddenly understand that he was actually alive, and be happy.”

-G.K. Chesterton


January 9, 2011   No Comments

Art vs. Philosophy

“Art tries, literally, to picture the things which philosophy tries to put into carefully thought-out words.”

-Hans Rookmaaker, quoted in Nancy Pearcey’s Saving Leonardo

(Photo: Let Ideas Compote)

October 10, 2010   No Comments

How Art is Like Plumbing

“Art should not be compared with preaching. The best work of art would still be bad preaching…But the best comparison is maybe with the plumbing. While we find it to be totally indispensable in our homes, yet we are rarely aware of it.

Likewise art fulfills an important function in our lives, in creating the atmosphere in which we live, in giving us the words to speak, in offering us the framework in which we can see and grasp things, say a landscape, even without our noticing it…So the mentality that speaks out in art is important. Its greatest influence is perhaps where it is most like plumbing, where we are not aware of it.”

-Hans Rookmaaker, Art Needs No Justification

(Photo: mynameisharsha)

September 26, 2010   No Comments

The Effect of Great Art

“A great painting, or symphony, or play, doesn’t diminish us, but enlarges us, and we, too, want to make our own cry of affirmation to the power of creation behind the universe. This surge of creativity has nothing to do with competition, or degree of talent. When I hear a superb pianist, I can’t wait to get to my own piano, and I play about as well now as I did when I was ten. A great novel, rather than discouraging me, simply makes me want to write. This response on the part of any artist is the need to make incarnate the new awareness we have been granted through the genius of someone else.”

-Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

(Photo: Christmas w/a K)

September 18, 2010   No Comments

Darwin’s Loss of Wonder

Justin Taylor over at Between Two Worlds has a couple recent posts related to maintaining a sense of wonder.

Today he notes how Charles Darwin, according to his autobiography, gradually lost his joy in the beauty of nature and art. An excerpt from Darwin’s autobiography:

“Formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me…

My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive…”

Read the whole post here.
Related: Why Porno Shops Don’t Have Windows

September 15, 2010   No Comments