Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In "Ode to a Grecian Urn" John Keats wrote a classic poem that that has transformed the modern world. We, as University Freshmen, were meant to read and understand when we were 18. In English Literature, our professors read it with a faraway look in their eyes, procaliming it sublime and making us agree, out of an insecure desire to be as smart and enlightened as they were. The final lines of the poem ring still in my ears: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."
Beauty is truth...
Truth is beauty...
That is all you know on earth, and all you need to know
Funny thought, Keats had, when he wrote it in the 18th century when all he had as a figure of beauty was a Grecian Urn with perfect figures of men and women frolicing about on it. Now there's TV. Porn. Movies. Dr. 90210. Today beauty is anything but truth. Beauty for a woman is a size zero and fake boobs -saline inside of impact-resistant teflon bags- that are surgically inserted into a woman's breast flesh while she sleeps under anesthesia. Or it is a young, taut stomach that has shown no signs of childbirth or white flour consumption. Beauty is not truth...no one even knows what truth is anymore.
But... here it is.
Truth is the thing that endures. It is a work of kindness in a world gone mad. Beauty is a man with little money buying food for a starving granny who no longer cares if she eats, but rather would ask for food for the four kids in her house. It is people who would rather do a good thing than attend a baseball game, a rugby match, a basketball game where divas called players throw punches at eachother.
Beauty is a truth that endures...a truth that proclaims there is a love so great it can transform any life, anywhere. It is a truth that says no matter how messed up we are, we have a Father that loves us and wants us back home with Him. It is a truth that sent a loving son to save me...to tenderly affirm me. To boast about His transforming love that would later define me... and that is all I know here.
That is all I know here on earth.
That is all I need to know.