Monday, August 27, 2012

the marvelous overflows of our existence

I make poetry the way I make desserts.

I like desserts that are impossibly luxurious and richly decadent. The most recent experiment in baking were the Nutella-frosted-cookie-dough-sea-salt brownies. I gave some to my friend for his birthday, and his first words after he bit into one were: "I hate you."
(Which, in our language, means it was really good. Obvi.)
I like creating food which has flavors so overwhelming, the senses don't know how to process what's happening.

There are a thousand and one beautiful words in the English language. So why not use them all? I like to be bombarded by words so beautiful, my mind struggles to wrap itself around the meaning. My theory on desserts and poetry: A thing of beauty may be a joy forever. Life is short. Smush the most amount of beauty into everything possible. Cram your life full of beauty at each possible moment.

At the moment, however, there's a concept that's rearing it's ugly head in multiple places in my life. It's called elegance.

elegant |ˈeləgənt|
1) pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner;
2) pleasingly ingenious and simple

Simplicity. The essence of elegance is getting to the heart of the matter concisely. And elegance is eloquence. In the words of François de La Rochefoucauld (French writer of maxims. The dude knows wassup.) "True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and nothing but what is necessary."

Design professor and poetry professor have both been harping on elegance, and then our Theo professor just brought it up today. (Casual coincidences. Hint, hint, Renée.)

So this is what blew my mind:
We're all savvy with the Greek word logos, jah?
Logos: word or meaning.
Cool beans. 
Whenever someone’s like: translate logos, yo. I’ll go: word. Boom. Done. But this is what M. Heintz showed us:
John, Chapter 1, Verse 1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Then he applies the other translation of logos: In the beginning was Meaning. And Meaning was with God and the Meaning was God.
In God, the height of elegance, where complexity and simplicity meet, there is a Word whose meaning is Itself. In our human imperfection, there is always a slight disconnect between words and meanings, ambiguities and misusages abound. We often say words that are not what we mean, which is sloppy and not at all simple and graceful. In the Word that is with God, the word and meaning are indivisible.

How elegant.  

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