I believe beauty is underappreciated. The reason I think this is because whenever there is a financial crisis, what is the first thing people are willing to let go? Art. Beauty. Fountains.
Yes. Fountains. Recently, the city leaders of Kansas City, Missouri, which claims to have the world’s, perhaps the universe’s, largest collection of fountains, went through a very serious budget discussion about deleting from the expense side of the ledger the $160,000 needed to keep the city’s fountains flowing.
People argued. Bloggers fretted as the crisis loomed. In the end, the fountain expense was restored and the water will flow this summer.
Whew. Close. A Midwestern summer can be a torrid affair. A misty spray from a fountain could help someone keep their cool. Peace and love will reign in Kansas City during the summer of ought nine because the fountain spigots will remain on.
No one appreciates the value of art and beauty more deeply then artists. Artists look at the world with different eyes than normal people. Marc Chagall, for example, compared the beauty of God’s creation with that of human craftsmen. Chagall, the Belarussian-turned-French Jewish artist of the last century thought that if a human artwork, when compared with a stone, leaf or mountain, still inspired awe, then it was truly art.
The late Pope John Paul II in a letter to artists said that the human craftsman mirrors the image of God as Creator. He said that an artist, when viewing a sublime finished work, could almost imagine the satisfaction that God must have felt in Genesis at the dawn of creation.
“Believers find nothing strange in this,” the Pope wrote. “They know that they have had a momentary glimpse of the abyss of light which has its original wellspring in God. Is it in any way surprising that this leaves the spirit overwhelmed, as it were, so that it can only stammer in reply?”
Yes, I believe beauty is underappreciated. Like much of God’s creation. Or Fountains.