Saturday, October 24, 2009

Transcendent common-sense!

Artist: Renoir

I did not realize before that the great G.K. Chesterton wrote a piece entitled "A Defense of Baby-Worship". Here a brief passage that I really like:

The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.


  1. G.K. Chesterton - usually a cynic, right?.....this is lovely "to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation." Wow, I love this:)

  2. Hello, Veritas! I don't think I've heard from you for a while. How very nice for you to visit. Yes, I think it's beautiful, too.

    Well, Sunrise, I don't think I would say that Chesterton was a cynic, exactly, although he had a very biting wit on occasion. He was a devout convert to Roman Catholicism and an intellectual of the first order.

    By the way, he wrote a marvelous little book on St. Francis of Assisi that influenced me considerably when I read it as a girl.

  3. Hi Ellie - Thanks for the note re Chesterton - I did not know of his conversion to RC; only vaguely of his sharp, sharp wit. Just showing me that sometimes we remember folks for the wrong reasons.

    It's about time I looked Chesterton up on my own as I've seen his remarks recently, or been aware of his work, usually a sign of something lurking to be learned:)


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