Beauty is not Abstraction, but Result
Nature (actual growing, making, producing) moves in a slow cycle–much slower than the cycle of the mind and its flittering, flashing thoughts. Real thoughts, like real fruits, grow too slow for us to watch them gestate and mature, and so always take us gently by surprise, one day announcing their own rightness and ripeness.
Maybe that’s one of the reasons why attention sustained through boredom & dullness–the daily, weekly, yearly round, etc–is so important: It puts a drag on the cycle of the mind, a yoke that pulls thought back toward the cycle of life, and makes it fruitful.
(Edit: this post is, in part and first of all, a response to some provoking lines from an article about Oscar Wilde’s visit to America which a good friend pointed out to me:
‘When he ventured the starchy observation that he, Wilde, couldn’t bear “to listen to anyone unless he attracts me by a charming style, or by beauty of theme,” the older poet put him in his place. “Why, Oscar,” said Whitman, “it always seems to me that the fellow who makes a dead set at beauty is in a bad way. My idea is that beauty is a result, not an abstraction.” Wilde quickly retreated. “Yes,” he said, “I think so too.”’)