Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Robert Farrer Capon on the Power of the Loving Eye

The role of the amateur [is] to look the world back to grace. There, too, is the necessity of his/her work: . . . The world looks as if has been left to the custody of a pack of trolls. Indeed, the whole distinction between art and trash, between food and garbage, depends on the presence or absence of the loving eye. Turn a statue over to a boor, and his[/her] boredom will break it to bits – witness the ruined monuments of antiquity. On the other hand, turn a shack over to a lover; for all it poverty, its lights and shadows warm a little, and its numbed surfaces prickle with feeling.

Or conclusively, peel an orange. Do it lovingly – in perfect quarters like little boats, or in staggered exfoliations like a flat map of the round world, or in one long spiral, as my grandfather used to do. Nothing is more likely to become garbage than orange rind; but for as long as anyone looks at it in delight, it stands a million triumphant miles from the trash heap.

That, you know, is why the world exists at all. It remains outside the cosmic garbage can of nothingness, not because it is such a solemn necessity that nobody can get rid of it, but because it is the orange peel hang on God's chandelier. . . . [God] likes it; therefore it stays. The whole marvelous collection of stones, skins, feathers, and string exists because at least one lover has never quite taken His[/Her] eye off it.

– Robert Farrer Capon
Excerpted from The Supper of the Lamb
pp. 4-5

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Make Us Lovers, God of Love
Love as "Quest and Daring and Growth"
Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change
Keeping the Spark Alive: Conversing with Modern Mystic Chuck Lofy

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