Starting Points

This blog is an exploration of meditations on Creation. It springs, perhaps, from my own awe at God’s work, highlighted on a particular day by the realization that the color green alone comes in uncountable varieties, from deepest green-black of forest shadows to the bright yellow-green of a flowering shrub to the clear green-blue of the surf on a sunny day. The astonishing and ridiculously unnecessary beauty and diversity of birds likewise touched my heart. Yet modern writing about the natural world seemed laden with attention to today’s cultural trends and the problems of industrialized life. I went searching in past centuries for something more relevant.

I found a striking starting point in an academic text called “The Infinite Beauty of the World” by James A. Baxter. Here the author uncovers for me a context in which meditations on the beauty, immensity, orderliness and complexity of Creation were used as a spiritual exercise, with the aim of opening the eye of the heart. The book referenced other authors I had already tasted and found interesting: Mary Carruthers, who writes about memory and rhetoric; Hugh of Saint Victor, a medieval philosopher and mystic; Dante, whose Divine Comedy is one of this year’s slow reads; and a plethora of other medieval and classical philosophers.

This subject seems to provide a healthy outlet for my need for an intellectual life, my desire to deepen my intimacy with God, and my love of thoughtful ponderings, not to mention art and music. So as I read through these subjects I’ll use this blog as my notes-and-ponders place. That way it is useful for me, should I wish to review what I have read, but also useful for anyone else who might find the subjects interesting.

Jean Colombe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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