Perhaps truth and beauty defer each to the other, taking turns, like good friends, or partners. And when both shine at the same time and place, the result is art.
One of my Philosophy professors made this observation: the luckiest minds are those who get to live at the turn of the century, for then they have the works of philosophers past to synthesize and recycle into new theses for philosophers of the next one hundred years to digest.
That professor has all my respect and admiration but I find that the luckiest are really those who get to live in an era right on the cusp of change, for then they have no premises and parameters to limit their imaginings. Uncertainty allows their mind to run wild and bold, for what is there to do when confronted with the unknown?
To be pure is to be uncomplicated, and to be uncomplicated is to be a cretin or a trout or some inanimate thing.
France New York California: the year was 1848, these cities were at the point of important transition, and Benjamin Knowles was all there to stand witness. Revolution Modernity Gold Rush. How could Benjamin Knowles not succumb to restlessness, exhilaration, fearlessness? How could Polly Lucking Timothy Skaggs Duff Lucking not share the adventures with Benjamin? They had nothing to lose and everything around them was an opportunity to turn life in their favor. The future was up grabs, rightly so thus, seize it they did.
Commonplace and tired, true, but fortune does favor the bold. Yet the adventure must come to an end, as it inevitably does anyway at a certain point. The key is restraint, knowing when to stop and when to take on a new beginning.It’s tricky but it’s what I like about “Heyday” — Kurt Anderson made Knowles and Skaggs studies in stark contrast. Knowles wanted to go on and discover new frontiers, so he got to lead a new life with Polly. So did Duff. Skaggs chose to stay, so he got to enjoy his own idea of romance albeit for only a short while.