Tuesday, 1 January 2019

On Anniversaries

One cannot live in memories: that is, in the past. Why do anniversaries take hold so strongly in ten-year clumps? Is it because I have ten fingers and ten toes that I count to the end of a cycle, which begins again?
What shall be saved? There are events that become the principal occasion in many lives. These lie not lightly, but heavily sleeping or disturbing sleep through many years. It feels like losing track of decades, though decades, like rosaries, are told.
We can’t live with the dead, our faults irretrievable, our mistakes inexorable, unless we do our best to embody their virtues. Rachel’s great virtue was beauty. Aquinas here gives a trinity: wholeness (the Buddhist ‘isness’ a thing the essence of itself), proportion (exquisitely balanced that all elements are pleasing both to reason and the senses) and clarity (which has the power to illuminate the meaning of itself). The meaning of beauty is expression of divine truth.
There was a time before Rachel. Now there is a time after Rachel. Twenty years since, like Dante’s Beatrice, she departed from this world. To honour Rachel, I seek to reflect beauty wherever I encounter it.

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