photos via Lindsey Mead
"YES! EXACTLY! YES YES YES! Magic! Mystery! Science and God and magic and mystery and magicmysterygodscience."
In Lindsey's words:
My Dad, the man who worked out derivations for fun, has also stood next to me in cathedrals in Italy, looking up at stained glass rose windows with frank reverence on his face. For all of his stubborn rationality and fierce belief that everything can be explained, he also suspected, I think, that some things could not. In fact I think for my father, despite how trained and steeped he is in the language of equations and proofs, the parts of the human experience — often expressed and experienced, for him, through great cultural gestures — that cannot be captured by the empirical are the most meaningful.There is magic here on this earth, miracles and all sorts of things that cannot and, perhaps, should not be defined... I'm talking about God, now, kind of... but in the undefined/uncharted sense. The... THERE IS MORE and I FEEL IT sense... the spirit part.
Having faith in the mysterious is, for me, one of the great treats of being alive. (Did any of you see the AMAZING Louis CK bit about God/faith/God's wife? GENIUS. I love him. I want to marry him and have two husbands. Louie is the best show on television, I think.)
That day, in the crypt at Assisi, was the first time I felt that creature stirring inside my chest, that sensation that I’d observed so many times playing across on my father’s face. The world both shrunk and yawned open that day, as all at once I saw the shimmering possibilities that existed beyond the world of clear-cut achievement and the challenges of reconciling that with the path I was already headed down...
Perhaps the key to living a balanced life, to being a balanced person, to "balancing" it all has nothing to do with staying "balanced" but, rather, accepting the ups and downs and contradictions that occur as we climb and fall and fall and climb and fall and fall and climb. A balanced life is not a steady one... er, maybe it is, but, like, only for a split second as the teeter totter is coming down, you know? Only for a split second as the teeter totter is coming up.... Equilibrium is rare beast. 99.9% of the time, we're all off kilter. Which is totally okay. Balance is not a straight line. (Boredom, however, is.)
I believe in the dance that exists between the science and the spirit of ALL things - in life, in nature, in conversations... All those opposing ideas that clash and bang and ultimately come together. I always think of poles on a magnet, how far they are from one another, how fast they stick when given the chance.
Dad introduced me — never explicitly, but through the example of his passions — to the fact that something can be true and its opposite can also be true. Dad was the one who taught me about life’s ability to hold two poles in one hand. Even more, he taught me that often life insisted on that. That day in Assisi was the first time those two poles collided inside of me: I was following the map, believing utterly in its ability to make the world clear and comprehensible to me, barreling straight into my second Ivy League degree, and yet something inchoate, something deeply buried was making itself known. Something beyond the reaches of this logical understanding of the world was agitating in me, and beseeching me to pay attention. It took me years to understand that the whisper of that voice was more important than the external world’s clearly-defined map, to understand how to make the two coexist in a peaceful way inside of me. Dad’s deep but deeply buried spirituality underscores all of his adamant belief in the life of the rational mind, and from him I learned that these two ways of being in the world could — even, should — coexist.
- Read Lindsey's entire post, The Space Between, here...
- and visit Lindsey's blog A Design So Vast, here. (You'll want to add it to your reader, too.)
- This post is particularly poignant for me at the moment. Especially this part:
I feel out of step with the celebration in the air today and this time of year, the overwhelming, enthusiastic rush towards summer I sense all around me. Hold back! Wait! I say silently, wanting another day to dwell in this, here, now. I’m always keenly aware of life’s accumulating farewells, but I think this time of year is when I feel them most acutely.