Beauty Has No Explanation

I asked myself, why do I love,
and what is the power of beauty,
and I understood that each and every
instance of beauty is a promise and an example,
in miniature,
of life that can end in balance,
with symmetry, purpose, and hope—
even if without explanation.

Beauty has no explanation,
but its right perfection elicits love.
I wondered if my life would be the same,
if at the end the elements would come together
just enough to give rise to a simple melody
as powerful as the one in Paolo’s metal top,
a song that, even if it did not explain
the desperate and painful past,
would make it worthy of love.

Of course, I still don’t know.
God help me to have a moment
of his saddest beauty in which I do.

~ Mark Helprin in A Soldier of the Great War

Picking up a book I have read, a book I have loved.
Flipping it open.
Finding a quote marked.

This is why I love to dust my bookshelves.
This is why it’s an all day affair.