I was born in 1964. Statistically, 1964 is considered the last year for baby boomers to be born. So my life has spanned the evolution from three TV networks to cable and then streaming. Computers came, then cellphones and, ultimately, they were wed in the smart phone. I’ve mourned the death of printed newspapers and magazines and swapped record albums for CDs before chucking them all for an Apple Music subscription. From Watergate to Iran Contra, from Whitewater to Covid, and from Juneteenth to September 11 and January 6, I’ve seen our country come together and then square off in red and blue and black and white corners.
Is it any wonder, then, that as middle age slips into “the golden years,” I find myself asking, “What is timeless? What remains good and true, no matter the trends, technology, or scandals of a particular phase in our culture? What can we affirm that does not polarize and divide?”
A client gave me a clue. He is rector (pastor) of an Anglican church. Their church is deeply committed to celebrating and promoting artists and their art. Not art to simply illustrate stories and characters of Christianity, but art for its own sake. When asked why it was important to design the church as a place for art, he simply said, “Beauty is the gateway to Truth.”
Certainly, we may not agree as to what is beautiful. We bring to art, craft or nature, our unique experiences and education. However, in encountering something we consider to be beautiful, we are inspired to ask, “Why do I find this beautiful?” That question is the start of journey that will lead us, I believe, to ultimately ask, “What is timeless?” And that question places us squarely in the realm of considering Truth.
From this vantage point of life, I value the time I can spend in the presence of beautiful things. In doing so, I find reassurance that there is more than the turmoil and change of the moment. There are, indeed, things timeless and True.