Art and Beauty

I ran across a powerful truth the other morning. In Native American thought there is no distinction between what is beautiful or functional, and what is sacred or secular.
Design goes far beyond concerns of function, and beauty is much more than simple appearances. For many native peoples, beauty arises from living in harmony with the order of the universe. Oh, yes. Of course, we all said. We knew that. In Jewish myth, an angel whispers the whole of Torah into the ear of the newborn at the instant of its birth and it spends the rest of its life remembering that which it once knew.
Paris is full of art – some good and some, let’s say, not.  Art is the striving of mankind to find synthesis with the author and creator, the finisher of the craft work, the perfector of the design process.  
An artist visited with his work the other day – two great photographic montages – to spend time on the terrace here and move his work onward. I am not sure he quite knew why he came, except that he found resonance here. 


These images are of scenes and objects I walk around and see every day. The one immediately above contains a secret – all art has secrets – the limestone Madonna up against the wall.  She is not in as good shape as she once was, having been carved anonymously in the thirteenth century. Inexplicably, she found her way here, to rest quietly against a white wall.


Beauty before me, I walk with.
Beauty behind me, I walk with.
Beauty above me, I walk with.
Beauty below me, I walk with.
Beauty all around me, I walk with.

Navajo Night Chant 
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