Saturday, April 5, 2008

Capon Paragraph

Man's real work is to look at the things of the world and to love them for what they are...If an hour can be spent on one onion, think how much regarding it took on the part of that old Russian who looked at onions and church spires long enough to come up with St. Basil's Cathedral.  Or how much curious and loving attention was expended by the first man who looked hard enough at the insides of trees, the entrails of cats, the hind ends of horses and the juice of pine trees to realize he could turn them all into the first fiddle.  No doubt his wife urged him to get up and do something useful.  I am sure that he was a stalwart enough lover of things to pay no attention at all to her nagging; but how wonderful it would have been if he had known what we know now about his dawdling.  He could have silenced her with the greatest riposte of all time:  Don't bother me; I am creating the possibility of the Bach unaccompanied sonatas.

That was Capon in a magnificent section on loving things for what they are, not what we would have them mean to us.

And yet we kill the bird to dissect it--do we not know it better on the branch than under the knife?

"Even in your world, little one, that is not what a star is, but only what it is made of."

1 comment:

Luke Dahlin said...

I also see a close connection with C.S. Lewis's voyage of the dawn treader where he talks about what we see stars as and what they realy are.

Wodehousian Fun