Reflections on Art and Life
What is the purpose of life? In my view, the purpose of life is to enter a state of rapturous amazement. If we take the time to look around, we will discover there are many potential sources of such experience. For me, it has always been found in studying music theory and encountering music in general as a composer, performer, and listener. But also, while studying calculus, geometry, color theory, beehive organization, and certain other biological systems found in nature.
Only in the last few years, I have come to realize that the keyword for me has always been “systems”. Creating systems, analyzing them, admiring them, preferably ones that produce beauty or aesthetic experiences. Music is an obvious example: a skillfully crafted composition triggering an emotional response through an aural experience. But beyond that, there are wonders to be found in music theory that cannot be heard with a naked ear but can only be appreciated intellectually. In the same way, we can visually admire a suspension bridge but we can also examine the quadratic equations that gave birth to its shape and continue to hold it together. It’s not pedestrian enjoyment, it’s rapturous amazement on steroids.
The world is riddled with countless systems, mechanisms, processes, interdependencies, natural laws, frameworks. All of these combined create one gigantic mind-blowing amusement park one could explore and enjoy for a very long time. Many of its systems will remain off-limits to my understanding or experience. Of many others, I will remain an unaware unappreciative participant. But those that I have been lucky to examine, have given me a deep sense of wonder.
What amazes you?
©2022 Dosia McKay