Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Magnum Opus

I had the chance this evening to watch, for the first time in many years, the best movie I have ever seen: “To Kill A Mockingbird.” It reminded me that the greatest and most beautiful achievements of nature and man are often rare gems, not often found or experienced. When you chance upon one of these gems, you know immediately the great importance of it; how you feel all at once the weight of it in your gut and the soaring of your heart, just to have had the honor to experience it for yourself. With all the muck we have to wade through each day – watching our fellow humans display immense ignorance, apathy, bigotry, and avarice – it is comforting to know that true works of art, breakthroughs of science, miracles of nature, and pure kindness of heart are expressed and created every second of every day.

I am reminded that there is a greater reason for being on this earth besides the basic motives of propagation and survival. With the rest of the natural world, we humans share the ability and entitlement to express in some way something inside ourselves that cannot always be explained through logic or rhetoric. Creativity coexists with functionality. The spider’s web glistens with intricate beauty as it fastens its tiny threads ever tighter around the carcass of the arachnid's next meal. The flower not only inspires the bee to pollinate and continue the cycle of life, it inspires the human mind to conjure up the most poetic of verses. We have the ability to create films that inspire the masses, and piece together sound frequencies to form musical sequences that summon up emotion in even the most detached souls. Even the creation of a child demonstrates our ability to pass on, through the nurturing of this new being, expressions of deep-down love, emotionality, and ingenuity.

In essence, we were created to create. No matter what our religious or spiritual affiliations, this ability to craft, invent, and design is truly a gift from some higher power; from a source of unfathomable influence. But it is manifested from within us, forming like a seed inside and springing forth when the conditions are right. It comes from us and not from us, for we are in the universe and the universe is in us. And though there are those rare gems and masterpieces that we experience from time to time, every creation has been nurtured by someone or something in order for it to manifest. Of course, humans cannot help but critique everything that crosses our path. But we must remember that at its basic form, no matter what motive someone may have for making it, a creation represents something so pure and true that no amount of subjectivity can undermine it. We must bear this in mind as we walk through this world and experience its many creative expressions.

Photo by Ryan Smith

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