The Masterpiece

We are living inside a masterpiece. And even that word doesn’t begin to describe this creation of which we are a part. The beauty, the synchronicity, the totality of even one moment, in one place, in one small sliver of this overwhelmingly vast world, could never be described and is possibly too much for us to handle. I find it easier to look at, or listen to the master-works of art contained upon a canvas with paint, perhaps by Nesterov, or to listen to a symphony, possibly by Tchaikovsky; yet even then, sometimes I feel awestruck—which is a feeling verging upon fear. I ask myself, how can such sublime creations exist? But to escape from these small confines, from a canvas made up of only so many square inches, or from a symphony composed of some finite number of minutes; what then, of this world which surrounds us, which transcends every limit that man can place upon it? And let’s not even mention, or consider the limitless worlds beyond our own, the entire universe of which our world is only a smallest part. If we did, would our minds not explode for trying?

Who could ever capture with paint the varied colors and expressions of all of these things simultaneously, for example: that mass of clouds in the east, peeking over the mountains, all aflame with light as if erupting from within, and the depths and variety of grays and whites shimmering in the sky to the west, shimmering and yet also subdued, muted, with blue skies subtlety and surprisingly peeking from behind the darkened clouds, and the water which is silver and golden too, and then it becomes rose-colored, and then purple, finally, but never finally, shifting into blues of every tint and variation.

The air all around us, which makes up the canvas and the paint through which we have our being, is fresh, and suddenly hail falls from the sky, and then rain, and then the sun casts light through the clouds, with tiny rainbows filling the golden and misty air. I am only one little person speaking of only a few moments from one little day. Other people could also tell of many other things, about these very same moments. What composer could write the accompanying score for this visual performance? With the sound of the rain falling, and then the hail, while the wind blows. But there is an infinity more of which to speak: animals, so many and so varied, add to this spectacle, which is already beyond description. Cormorants complain about the new arrivals to their piers, upon which they perch. Seagulls ask for a meal. Seals and sea lions, and all kinds of fish swim beneath the waves, and some of these poke their heads up through the water’s surface, adding to our experience of this masterpiece of color, and sight, sound, and smell, and touch, and taste…

And behind all of this there is also the breath of life, the pulse of existence, the music of the spheres, and the stillness of creation. How can we speak of these which animate our world but go largely unperceived? One cannot speak of all that exists even in just this simplest moment. I try to open myself to perceive and to understand all of this, and my mind resists me, preferring a more mundane perception. There is no time to be bored, or to waste; there is no home for despair. And yet, it can be unsettling to push, or pull, or open our mind, to allow ourselves to see the truth of the masterpiece in which we exist. Often we prefer our little world of petty disturbances. And yet, in the blink of an eye, by simply desiring it, we can see beyond ourselves, and then…just look to God’s creation, and allow yourself to become reborn in His likeness. We can learn from the creation and allow ourselves to be remade like it; leaving the ugliness of mankind behind us, and never looking back (God willing). We are living in the midst of a sublime masterpiece, let us have the courage and desire to open our senses, and experience the awesomeness of it all!

~FS

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