Quiet in the library today.
Snowstorm yesterday, now sunlight on the trees, old colonial rooftops. Snow-radiance, winter brightness.
Sort of a northern light, Bruegel-light, Thomas More-light... imaginary sense of medieval gemutlichkeit comes to me now & then, like something out of collective memory (fantasy, I should say). It's in a lot of my poetry.
"Lit with the cold and clear Minnesota light" ("Grain Elevator")
Thinking of Stevens' "idea of the sun". & the tale of the Biblical "burning bush" that drew Moses out into eventual Exodus, and a scriptural Code, a social Covenant, & the history of the West.
The spark is like a mathematical equation :
Universal God + Mankind-Imago = Human Dignity/Equality = Justice
ie. if each & all bear this divine image (like M's "gold coin of humanism") then the irrevocable consequence is : dignity & respect & equality for each & all. (cf. the "greatest commandment", from which depends "all the Law & the Prophets" : Love God; Love your neighbor as yourself)
A further thought : these verbal articulations of social design (justice) are themselves epiphenomena of the unspoken Actual - the common intuited relations of love & respect that relatively free & sane persons offer naturally (at their best, anyway) to one another.
In other words, part of the overall gift of life is a certain unspoken normative justice, an equilibrium of happiness & peace.
Then the Biblical revelation (or divine intervention) is not so much a motor of history, on the order of cause-&-effect - but rather a manifestation (a "glory") of the truth as it already is, & always was.
Everything pivots on a sense of the unique Person as enfolded in, or unfolding, an image of the universal & divine Personhood. Everything pivots on consciousness & the Person. "I am that I am."
These things have been known for thousands of years.