Joyfully, a patient lover,
Mankind’s eager spirit strove
To unravel and discover
How creative Nature wove.
It revealed that one eternal
Essence permeated all,
In the grains of shell and kernel,
At the heart of great and small,
Always changing, and yet holding
Things together far and near.
Shaping, endlessly unfolding:
To behold it we are here.
These are the thoughts of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the great German writer and thinker, who died in 1832. His words are here translated by Douglas Worth and the late Professor of Physics Victor Weisskopf, and I found them, years ago, in the epilogue to Professor Weisskopf’s book called Knowledge and Wonder.
One stands in wonder before knowledge. To stand in wonder is to desire knowledge.
I believe that nothing in our ken, or beyond it in any direction, is any more or less important than any other thing. And that it is our most profound obligation, as a kind of bemused thanks for this absurd gift of a brief and fleeting life, to attend to and rejoice at all of it. So: to behold it we are here.
WebGrrrl 01:57pm, 04/01/2013