Art Is The Signature Of Man

admin Thursday, August 24, 2023 Comments Off on Art Is The Signature Of Man

Reading a guy named G. K. Chesterton.  Early in his book (The Everlasting Man) he mentions the cave art of ancient man.  I’ve known about cave art most about of my life.  When I was a young boy, my first thought was, ‘Wish I’d been the one to find it!’  

Same pictures we’ve all seen, of handprints, and bison, Chesterton sees something different: “Art is the signature of man.  Art exists nowhere in nature except in man.”

Almost A Stranger On Earth

As a person & personality on the quiet side, it doesn’t take much for me to be “up to here” with people.  I go away, separate and refuel, and theorize about how wonderful mankind is, and then I come back into society, and here we go, again, small talk, in large quantities, a lot of energy wasted on things that don’t matter much, or things we can’t affect much.

Chesterton’s point of view was timely.  

“…man is almost in the sense of being a stranger on earth… he has much more of the external appearance of one bringing alien habits from another land than of a mere growth on this one.”  

(Took me a while to realize that was flattering, wink/wink…)  

“He has an unfair advantage and an unfair disadvantage.  He is at once a creator moving miraculous hands and fingers, and a kind of cripple.” 

Some, More, Despite, Anyhow

Don’t we all need to like ourselves, and like each other?  Some, more, despite, anyhow?

The common sense is available to all – we humans are completely unique.  We were like nobody in our childhood family, we were like nobody in our elementary class, and as soon as society lets us out into the Land of Grownups, we prove it all the more, when we come together again for class reunions.  

We are truly one ‘n onlies.  

Man Is The Image Of God

Most of us retire from art when we lay down our crayons.  But what if, from God’s point of view, our lives are art, the good parts, the bad parts, all the parts?  What if the whole of us is a kind of art, that we can’t see, because we are too near the canvas, too focused on the right-now tip of the paint brush?

What if, even when we’re wrong, or made a mess, it’s still part of the art, of our lives?  Anybody out there not depending on a proven healed scar, or proceeding in a new direction, specifically because of wisdom earned the hard way?  

We friction against each other where we differ, but what if, from God’s point of view, our differences are required to paint the entire canvas, of all of life and all of history, of its purpose and its meaning?

Chesterton, “Man is the measure of all things; man is the image of God…”  

Comments are closed.