Truth Beauty Freedom Love

In response to Masha, Towards Understanding, and Mr. Pond, Playing Poetics.

First, congratulations to Masha on the birth of her daughter, Yarrow! The baby's very cute. :)

Since Masha is in the middle of new motherhood, and Mr. Pond is busy with various projects, and I am all kinds of crazy right now with house-hunting and trying to submit my novel, et cetera, I'm going to set us up for a light week on the blogalectic. The three of us are in the process of searching for our areas of agreement and the points where we begin to diverge; today, I'll focus on the former.

We've tracked down one way we differ, which aims us in opposite directions even as we move toward the same goal. From Masha:
"Perhaps this is part of the reason we have so many disagreements, we see ourselves and respond to our own tendencies: [Jenna] is ever-needing to remind herself to accept and I am ever-needed to encourage myself to attempt."

Mr. Pond claimed to fall somewhere in the middle, and continued with an old memory—an interesting word picture that sort of describes our whole blogalectic thus far:
"Now I’m twenty years away on the day we decided that we wouldn’t stop the merry-go-round, just keep spinning to see how fast it would go, and then got in an argument about which way it should go, resulting in us all climbing on board and pushing in opposite directions until it wound up spinning unstoppably the wrong way. And I find myself seized with the overwhelming conviction that this glorious, terrifying, misguided moment is somehow the answer to everything."

And I have to smile, and remember why I feel such a solid artistic kinship with these two blog-friends, despite our philosophical variances. The three of us share a love for artistry founded in a love for what is truly good, and even if we come at it in different ways, all of us value the quest for mystery and wonder involved in a vocation to the making of beautiful things.

Masha and Mr. Pond and I have debated whether beauty must be a part of art. According to Masha's definitions, it must; according to mine, it only should. But we still think alike in many ways, as I cannot imagine attempting to create art without striving for beauty.

Perhaps we simply hold different images in our heads when we think of beauty. For example only: I see some truth in Edvard Munch's Scream, though only the half-truth of horror, but not much that I'd call beautiful. Whereas, Thomas Kinkade... nobody's ever given me a reason not to like his work, except that there's a heck of a lot of it, and it's popular and easily copied, and it's too often associated with greeting cards, which means everybody with any taste is supposed to hate it. But I still don't understand how he makes those little cottages glow.

But then, I like Disney movies, too. And the Backstreet Boys. And Little Women. Right alongside my Into Great Silence, and Mozart, and Austen. And now we're right back where we started.

The point is this: whenever I take up my pen to create, I put my best effort into making something beautiful and true and good. Which, for the three of us, means that even if our definitions overlap like a Venn diagram rather than uniting exactly, our goals have made us companions.


  1. Thanks for the congratulations! And good luck house-hunting, it's such a crazy process! We always felt in-over-our-heads with it, and all the bank/inspection/mortgage craziness that goes along with it!
    Is it bad luck to wish someone luck on writing submissions? I feel like it's almost like the theatre, and I shouldn't, but I do wish the best for it!
    I like these thoughts..what comes to mind when we search for beauty..and it will be easy to write quickly :) I think that is one of our major overlaps, the desire to produce beauty when we create, I'm exicted to respond.

  2. Thanks, Masha! I'm impressed that you're up reading blogs. :) We're excited about possibly house-buying, and I appreciate the well-wishes for that and writing submissions, too.

    I do think the desire to produce beauty is one of our greatest common areas. I love that about you! Will try to comment on your blog shortly.


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