Sunday, December 30, 2007


This blog is dedicated to Beauty. First, I’d say, to the beauty of whatever urge it is in the universe that starts with nothing but hydrogen molecules or not so much, and ends up with Jasper Johns and Bach and Nascar and poodles. What good luck that this urge of relentless creation also has a sense of humor and an exquisitely developed taste for irony. I leave aside for now its wastefulness and cruelty.

For me, the other first place in beauty is the beauty of language. If it's true that in the beginning was the Word, then that makes hydrogen and the Word contemporaries, so naturally they tie for first place. I swoon at the beauty of a phrase that pleasures your mouth like melting expensive chocolate. Language that is so precise and agile that it shows you something that even if you've never seen it and never will, you know it exactly. Like this from Faulkner's Light in August: "It is not a smile. His upper lip just lifts momentarily, the movement, even the surface wrinkling, travelling no further and vanishing at once."

And beauty of spirit. Any selfless kindness. Taking genuine pleasure in the joy of another creature. Imagining somebody else’s heart, somebody else’s dream.

And the beauty of men. Their voices. The cocked sword arm of Cellini’s Perseus. The young James Dean, speaking of wastefulness and cruelty. The hair on a man’s body--thank you, creative urge--a very nice move.

Also the beauty of the silly defiant screaming pink of the windows in my study. The upward swoop from my dog’s rib cage to his belly. And have you ever seen five flat acres of sunflowers in bloom? It’ll knock you down. And how, when Perlman plays the violin, you can hear its breath.

And only the very best of whatever might appear here is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Kirk Budd, who lived a beautiful life, who prevented and relieved the suffering of creatures who cannot name their pain. A great blessing would be to live a tenth as beautifully and well. He is immensely loved and wrenchingly missed. Cover lightly, gentle earth.


Blogger jo_jo said...

Well said. Perlman makes me cry every time.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Kirk Budd was my uncle. His brother (Taylor) is my father. He was a great vet, uncle, father, and man. He was loved by so many! It makes me happy when I see things like this post. It is just great to see how much he was/is loved and how much he is/will be missed! Thanks for your kind words about him!

4:18 PM  

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