29 Dec 2015

Beauty and pity

In a recorded lecture I found on Youtube given by the genius writer Vladimir Nabokov I heard him say:

“Where there is beauty, there is pity, because beauty must die, beauty always dies. The manner dies with the matter and the world dies with the individual”

I was struck by this profound statement, our world seizes to exists when we seize to exist, this has made all the difference for me, and yet it felt so obvious, so basic that we humans create our own universe and out own fate and yet so few of us see this.
When Nabokov said that beauty entails pity, I'm not sure why I thought of the spilled bottle of milk I see soiling my neighbor’s front door step every morning, I thought of the blind baby robin I found on the ground, swollen blue eyes bulging, featherless pink, its gaping yellow beak screaming, the tragedy of the long fall and the desperate fragility that required no more than a swift clumsy footstep. I thought of the white swan’s superior grace, gliding dreamlike in endless rippled lakes and her majestic long neck always a question mark.