Saturday, 22 October 2011

In the eye of the beholder

Hey, God.

Just a short one tonight as I'm waiting for a Chinese Takeaway to arrive and you know how my attention tends to wander when I'm hungry.

I just wanted to say thank you for making this world so beautiful. Today I went for a drive and a bit of a walk in the wonderful Derbyshire countryside and it was late in the afternoon and the sky blue. Autumnal nip in the air but the scenery was fantastic. Orange and yellow in the trees, grass looking lush and everything tinged with gold because of the low sun. It was gorgeous.  As you know, I'm not a particular fan of this time of year, much preferring the bright new shoots and hopefulness of the Spring, to the back end of the year but on days like today, I have to give it to you; you knew what you were doing when you did Autumn. 

I'm sure you are basking in my approval, aren't you? 

The other day we went to see a display of new sculpture at Chatsworth - part of the outdoor exhibition they have each year. I enjoy it; it amazes me to see what people's imaginations can come up with. I try to have an open mind with regard to 'art', for several reasons. One, it is in the eye of the beholder so I am allowed to decide; maybe something will move me. Two, I'm supposed to have an open mind rather than just fixate on the Pre-Raphaelites and conclude that nobody else can paint. Three...well, can't think of a third reason but I try, nonetheless.  

Some of the sculptures brought to mind The Emperor's New Clothes, to be honest, but some of them were nice to look at. At several points I felt like calling out to clumps of admiring people, 'But it's made of plastic! It's hideous! Look at those wonderful trees behind you! That's art!' but I'm sure you were proud of my restraint. Each to their own. clearly I'm missing something. Hmm.

It was an interesting walk, and the children got to decipher a map with all the sculptures labelled and hidden in the gardens. And they were selling ice cream too. 
Now that's Art. 

Elizabeth and Katy had an enormous ice cream each and they had a whale of a time dashing in and out of the little pathways, spotting the sculptures and telling us where we should go next. Their responses to the man-made creations were wonderful; out of the mouths of babes indeed. Katy saw a semi-transparent sort of mirrored cat shaped thing that was about twenty feet high and she stopped and gazed at it with puzzlement  before announcing that she didn't like it because it got in the way of seeing the pretty bushes. Ahem. I'm with her on that one. With all due respect and everything. 

Perhaps my daughter and I don't understand it properly. I definitely think that there might be a chance that we're not 'getting it'. Anyway, it was an experience and we had a lovely afternoon so I'm not criticising. Really. 

Nothing that these artists had made compared with the breathtaking beauty of the landscape in which they were displayed. Even the most elegant, creative, subtle installations (is that the word?) was left standing by the wonder of the natural world around them. Huge boulders, flowing water, towering trees and flowers. Acres of grass and splendidly glowing Autumn leaves.

I just wanted to say thankyou. Thankyou for surrounding me with beauty and increasingly, giving me the eyes to see it.

It makes me want to take my camera  everywhere so that I can capture the moments where you speak to me through what I see and store them away forever. So that I won't forget, so that I can show people. So that I can praise the Creator who made things beautiful and intricate and amazing just because he could. For no better reason than you wanted to. 

You are all things creative and captivating so works of art flow from you. You are nature. You are the essence of everything beautiful. 

You filled our world with treasures and it's up to us to see them and give you back the glory. 


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