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Capturing Beauty, Painting Creation

Ann Gauger
Photo credit: Alyssa Strohmann via Unsplash.

I am always trying to capture some of the beauty I see in this world, this place we call home. It would take a library to catalog it all. But I think, if we focus on a few things at a time, their wonder is sharper. We are not overwhelmed by the brimming buzzing splendor of it all. The other thing that helps is to make use of the tools of poetry, with its evocative rhymes and cadences. If I could literally paint this beauty I would. 

I am aware that ugliness, even evil exists. Existence is good. It is primary, and a gift, not something we are entitled to. Something must first exist to be twisted toward ugliness and evil. Orcs were made from elves, not the other way around. And that is not my subject here. Beauty comes first.

Painting Creation


Windblown whispers of lilac fill the air while a chorus of birds 

twitter and chirp to the sun. New leaves unfold to clothe branches 

with lacey green. These are new, they mean spring.


Mountains are rock disgorged from the depths, then sculpted by ages

into towering peaks. Ragged crags and ridges mean perilous journeys,

wind-blown heights, aspiration, adventure, and ice.


Where land meets the sea, waves crash and retreat, crash and retreat,

pound the rocks, break the stones, wash them clean, to be ground 

by the sea into sand, home for myriad creatures, food for birds 

that skitter and wade.


Eons-deep star scape spread on the inky black blanket of night 

takes my breath. The Milky Way, glowing highway, our neighborhood, 

is just one of three hundred million galaxies, give or take!

I can almost hear angels sing their awe in the shimmering night.


Earthly and heavenly bodies point beyond this world. So do music and poetry.

So does the beauty of a maiden’s cheek, or a man’s strong shoulders,

and the moment they hold each other in that velvet night,

when the two become one in ecstasy, in a foretaste of Heaven’s delight.


Last, the birth of children, another breathtaking wonder, how from two 

comes a child, an individual soul, who, God willing, will grow, 

take its place on the stage of being, not lilac, mountain, ocean, or star,

but a human being, with a heart, and a mind, and a soul.

Ann Gauger

Senior Fellow, Center for Science and Culture
Dr. Ann Gauger is Director of Science Communication and a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute Center for Science and Culture, and Senior Research Scientist at the Biologic Institute in Seattle, Washington. She received her Bachelor's degree from MIT and her Ph.D. from the University of Washington Department of Zoology. She held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University, where her work was on the molecular motor kinesin.

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beautybirdselvesevilexistencelandlilacmountainsorcspoetryrocksstonesuglinesswonder