I listen to audio books when I drive, and last week I was listening to DUNE by Frank Herbert, and heard this:
“There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance, and grace. Those qualities you find always in that which the true artist captures. You can find it in the turning of the seasons, in the way sand trails along a ridge, in the branch clusters of the creosote bush or the patterns of its leaves. We try to copy these patterns in our lives and our society, seeking the rhythms, the dances, the forms that comfort. ”
I pulled over and copied it down, and have been thinking about it ever since. It puts into words what I have come to realize is the content of my work, what I am constantly attempting to express. My work (and my life, for that matter) is a continuous search for order, for the underlying patterns of life.
Years ago a good friend and I discussed frequently a mutual “problem” we had…….disorganization. We were constantly coming up with new strategies for getting organized, for getting everything in our lives under control by discovering the perfect plan and structure for our lives. And the joke at the end of each of these discussions was that if we ever accomplished this goal it would probably mean the end of life……why go on once one’s goal was fully realized. What was there to strive for beyond perfection? So it was lucky that our goals had not been reached, as we felt that we each had a lot of living to do.
The Herbert quote goes on:
“Yet it is possible to see peril in the finding of ultimate perfection. It is clear that the ultimate pattern contains its own fixity. In such perfection, all things move toward death.”
My understanding of the full implications of the final part of the quote will require a great deal more consideration.
June 24th, 2012 at 3:57 pm
Herbert was a philosopher on his own terms..I love his work so much