Monday, March 1, 2010

beauty and night life

On a long drive, Lynn and I got to talking about interior decor.  Since her Finnish grandmother had a simple and functional house, it came to mind.  Her grandmother lived in a different era, raising seven boys as a widow during the depression on very little.  As we pictured some of the ideas for decor we had been discussing, I thought of asking Grandma if she would like that set of colors, art objects and such in her living room.  I was pretty sure that it would not have been her choice for her house.  So, who was right?  Were our ideas of beauty out of whack?

Fast forward to a passage in "Everyday Zen" (click here for Kindle link) where Charlotte Beck is envisaging a committed and organized person talking with a typical American.  She thinks of Mother Teresa being told by a young, hip American, "Mother Teresa, you could live in San Francisco instead of Calcutta.  The night life is better.  You would have better restaurants to go to.  The climate is easier."  Do you think she would be tempted to leave the "hellish part of Calcutta" where she lived and move?  If she isn't interested, does that mean that we are wrong to live there?  Or is the world and its parts different for her?  

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