This is where I start.
No matter how much we’ve messed up – us, each other and the world around us – underneath it all is beauty.
And it does matter what we hold as our basic tenet for life. Because it fundamentally shapes the direction we face, and that colours everything.
This week two strands that express the majesty and intimacy of this beauty came together for me. Though initially, I didn’t make the connection.
Yet, as I celebrated the first and sat with the second, I realised that they were part of the same continuum that starts and finishes with beauty.
On Thursday, Dr Frank Wilczek was awarded the 2022 Templeton Prize for his work on uncovering the beauty of the universe.
This announcement and short film is a lovely introduction to his humanity and his exploration of the question: does the world embody beautiful ideas? A Nobel Physicist, his work is on the fundamental laws of nature from the magnificently large to the unimaginably small.
It reminded me of his delightful conversation with Krista Tippett for the On Being Podcast in 2016. Beauty as a Compass for Truth.
Secondly, a good friend sent us a poem by Gideon Heugh. This astonishingly intimate insight reveals the beauty beneath the dross and darkness we sometimes acutely face.
IN THE UNDER OF ALL
And now, bitten through by fate,
you have come to the marrow of yourself.
With all that breaking apart here lies the naked centre –
the irreducible particle
in which everything finds its mass.
And here, after being dragged through+ Gideon Heugh, from Rumours of Light, 2021
all that darkness, after crossing
the dead waters, there in the under of all
you will find
May you have time and space to reconnect with the beauty at the heart of it all.
Because I promise it is there for you.
Being quiet enough to hear.