It’s years since I singled out this quotation, by someone whose hands produced beauty and whose eyes were attuned to it. And now it comes to the front of the nuannaarpoq pipeline just after I watched an hour long interview with a doctor; ostensibly about coronavirus, it was the most holistic and wide-ranging perspective I have yet come across.  Among many fresh (and refreshing) insights, he mentioned something striking with regards beauty and love. That love doesn’t come first, beauty does, and love is simply our reaction to beauty, or the result of such a reaction.

I don’t know if what he says is true, but I care greatly about beauty and can hardly believe how widespread it is. The other day while weeding, I had to leave some tiny plants with almost microscopic flowers. All the green force that drives the flower driving through this minuscule thing to produce bursts of star-shaped flowers a few millimetres across.

It should be said that as my beauty boundaries expand, the range of plants that qualify as ‘weeds’ is diminishing, and the category loosely known as ‘wild flowers’ is increasing.

‘It was as if the old dream were true, that some single Platonic form of beauty flowed through the human and natural world. And gave a camaraderie to those who chase after it, whose hands produce it and eyes are attuned to it.’ 

See also our quote-rich celebration of David Esterly’s magnificent book, The Lost Carving.


Source: David Esterly, The Lost Carving: A Journey to the heart of making (New York: Penguin, 2013), p. 103

Photo credits: josealbafotos and Samuel Zeller at pixabay


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