In honor of his birthday I am reprinting one of his college essays. (The errors in it are mine like the (1) -I don't know how to make a footnote on the computer.)
I see the world through two eyes; one is reason and one is beauty, and only in the middle do the two visions intersect and join the two ideas into harmony, but only for a moment as I look up into the stars. Through reason I see the world, it's workings, its equations, its method; I feel its temperatures, its textures and it all comes together in that perfect formula, matching up variable for variable. And I see it through beauty and see not form nor frame, but color and composition and the music behind it all. I see the relationship to man, to meaning, and I place it among the sky. But it looks bluer when the two see one and lights the room like candles combining as a flame.
Reason sees the world hollow from meaning and in shades of gray. It sees angles, shapes, movements, changes and answers man's longings. But it is lonely and wishes for more, that unobtainable suggestion to an existence beyond the numbers; the only potential question with no words worth its gold.
Beauty cares little for the grades but makes the body cast itself open so the music feels better. It focuses the senses and guides the mind and finds the rhythm in very object. It's what positions the camera and places the brush in all those aesthetic places which have no reason but to be loved, feeding the anxious heart as it throbs deep in the throat and pushes the tears to dry in sweet salty memory. But too this eye is dimmed without partner and begs to understand the motions of the spheres.
The two seekers meet across the nose and see the world as the shadows part. The grays turn to green, the light grows first scaring the eyes behind the lids but to only widen and thaw the music from man's glory. It rains low through the mountains and where valleys do grow and echo across the plains. In this perfect harmony, both understand the loss once unknown, where Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty (1).
I want music; I want books; I want life. And morning will come, then all will be seen with Reason and Beauty awoken in awe staring across that ocean.
(1) Ode on a Grecian Urn by John Keats