"Jizo is a bodhisattva...

...a divine being of infinite grace and compassion who forestalls his own buddhahood in order to help sentient beings to enlightenment. Since the 10th century, he has been portrayed as a young, itinerant monk who carries a pilgrim's staff and a wish-granting jewel. He is popularly believed to assist those condemned to the torments of hell, and the wayward souls of deceased children. This statue shows Jizo descending from the heavens, as suggested by the cloud that supports his lotus pedestal. The exquisite workmanship and extreme elegance of the figure, particularly the serene beauty of the face, are elements associated with the Kei school of sculptors active during the Kamakura period (1185-1336).” –the Minneapolis Institute of Art

As you might recall, my two years in a group marriage in Minneapolis were so hard that I can think of little good to say about them—the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the First Unitarian Society, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, and a few friends with whom I’ve lost contact, were about it. This 13th century wood and lacquer statue is but 26” tall, and I all but ran to it the first time I saw it. Those two years marked the only time in my life that I lived near preternaturally beautiful art from every age and every part of the world, and my only regret is that I wasn’t able to take better advantage of it.

After I put this post online just now, I sat looking at the statue and wondering if anyone would understand how beautiful it is. You might respond that beauty is subjective, and I would agree inasmuch as our species is concerned, but, as I see it, that's the problem. How can any species that considers the concept of beauty to be less than absolute (more real than real) be a terribly worthwhile species. When beauty screams at us so loudly, how can we not hear it?