The Sublime in the Ordinary

Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967), “Little Boy Looking at the Sea”

We owe it to artists, poets and some scientists for reminding us that the world is an awesome place, the unpalatable bits notwithstanding. Through their writings and various forms of artistic expressions, their works tell an abiding story – that the sublime is not always related to the grand; it may be sensed in a pebble on a beach, dew drops on a flower, or the changing hues of the evening sky. William Blake conveyed this sense of the sublime in these immortal lines:

To see the world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower.
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
and eternity in a hour …

Thankfully, he was not the last poet to move us with thoughts of the sublime. Echoing the same sentiment as Blake, the noted Scottish poet Alastair Reid (1926 – 2014) gave us these beautiful words of praise:

The point is the seeing,
the grace beyond recognition,
the ways of the bird rising,
beyond the range of language …
Manifold, the world
dawns on unrecognising, realizing eyes.
Amazement is the thing.
Not love,
but the astonishment of loving.

To be endlessly curious, to wonder, and be awed by nature and the sublime works of man, who is part of nature – that, my dear readers, is the central of this blog.

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