Infinity in Pleasing Objects
Infinity, though of another kind, causes much of our pleasure in agreeable, as well as our delight in sublime, images. The spring is the pleasantest of the seasons; and the young of most animals, though far from being completely fashioned, afford a more agreeable sensation than the full-grown; because the imagination is entertained with the promise of something more, and does not acquiesce in the present object of the sense. In unfinished sketches of drawing, I have often seen something which pleased me beyond the best finishing; and this I believe proceeds from the cause I have just now assigned.
Edmund Burke, “On the Sublime and Beautiful,” The Harvard Classics: Edmund Burke, ed. Charles W. Eliot (New York: P. F. Collier & Son Corporation, 1937), 65.
We wait. We age. It gets harder to imagine the promise of something more. Our plans are thwarted.
Nevertheless, it is a fact of human nature that we love the “in betweens.” We love the spring. We love draft sketches that are landscapes of promise and possibility.
Moving amidst the uncertainty and the limits of the pandemic was a wonderful therapeutic. New houses are open doors. I am looking forward to this month’s road trip, which will be our next in between. The current limits will be in the past and, for a moment, the future will be worth thinking about.
We can’t grow younger, but we can always be unfinished. Those tales of old can reside comfortably stacked next to our list of dreams.