Thursday, April 30, 2009

Beauty in Simplicity

So this has been a particularly interesting year for me. I've gone through quite a bit of changing, and have been under what seems like a mountain of stress, which until recently I have found almost no way to escape. The stress has come from all of the usual places; responsibilities, job searching, home searching, my nearly year-long writer's block, etc. I guess my neuroticism has felt a bit more real this year, with not quite so much attributed to paranoia. 

I suppose, to get on track, the key thing I have realized lately is that the most beautiful things in life are the simplest. I recently visited UNCW's nature walk for the first time. As I was walking between the trees, staring out onto the small lake and not seeing a spark of human influence (apart from the park benches), I realized that nothing could be more beautiful, that in all of humanity's grand and complex efforts to create beauty, we could never outdo the simplest things that God himself has put here. Here, my mind introduces a bit of a tangent. It baffles me to think that anyone could say that there is no God, when the evidence of His work surrounds us. To reduce the universe, in all of it's beauty and mystery, to the simple explanation that all of this is due to chance is simply asinine. To say that the natural world, which has existed long before us and will far outlive us, is a matter of dumb luck is the pinnacle of our human arrogance. People ask for proof of God's existence; the proof is all around us. We can burn it down, or pave over it, or simply ignore it, but the proof has always been there. 

Okay, now it's time to get my train of thought back on track. As an "artist" (a debatable point, to be sure), I see creation as an escape. I feel this unfathomable urge to create beauty, to make something indescribable with the power to connect with the heart and mind, and to move them. Prior to this year, I listened to and wrote mostly progressive metal. I sought out the most complex music out there. Every song was a testament to the artists' skills, and they were certainly talented. But something was missing. There was no emotion, no feel. This year has seen me develop a greater interest in less complicated music and the formula certainly applies (in most cases); the simplest things are often the most beautiful. An artist can create a masterpiece, a maddeningly complex song with dizzying guitar solos, constant time changes, and new, creative uses for instruments, but it can never be as moving or as powerful as one man pouring his heart out over 4 or 5 chords in 4/4 time. In fact, I have discovered exactly how difficult it is to make something so simple. I wrote progressive metal prior to this year, and made some fairly complex songs (at least I think so). Switching over to acoustic this year, attempting to channel my thoughts into simple, emotional songs, I found it nearly impossible. We can do the most complex of tasks with ease, yet we can hardly ever replicate the beauty of the simplest things.

I am not an organized thinker, nor do I have any particular skill in organizing my thoughts into carefully ordered words. But I got the thoughts down, and that's what counts. So here's the bottom line; do not take the simple things for granted. They may not be as shiny or alluring as the many complexities of our lives, but they are infinitely more powerful. 

No comments:

Post a Comment