Tag: culture

Stephen Hawking on the Meaning of the Universe

At twenty-two, Stephen Hawking (January 8, 1942–March 14, 2018) was identified with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — a uncommon motor illness — and given a number of years to stay. He lived for greater than half a century thereafter. Despite the growing bodily limitations inflicted by the incurable illness, he went on to soar with a

The Hidden Lives of Owls

“Sunlight, moonlight, twilight, starlight — gloaming on the shut of day, and an owl calling,” Walter de la Mare wrote in his “Dream Song”. “When shadows cool and owls name,” Nikki Giovanni writes a century later, “how can there be no Heaven.” Owls have haunted the human thoughts for so long as we’ve shared land

Hannah Arendt on Action and the Pursuit of Happiness

“What is happiness, anyhow? … so impalpable — a mere breath, an evanescent tinge,” Walt Whitman wondered in his diary precisely 100 years after the Founding Fathers wove the pursuit of that evanescent tinge into the material of what Whitman thought-about America’s “democratic vistas.” The notion of “the pursuit of happiness” has been with us

Zadie Smith’s Dance Lessons for Writers

“Oh, how fantastic! How like thought! How just like the thoughts it’s!” Helen Keller exclaimed when she experienced dance for the first time in legendary choreographer Martha Graham’s studio. Graham herself noticed a parallel between her explicit artwork and all artistic endeavors of the thoughts, during which “there is a vitality, a life force, an

Thoreau on Nature as Prayer

Walt Whitman noticed bushes — “so harmless and innocent, but so savage” — as a wellspring of wisdom on being rather than seeming. “When now we have realized easy methods to take heed to bushes,” Hermann Hesse exulted in his love letter to our arboreal companions, “then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike

Nobel Laureate André Gide on the Five Elements of a Great Work of Art

“To harmonize the entire is the duty of artwork,” the nice Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky wrote in considering the spiritual element in art and the three responsibilities of artists. “The goal of artwork is perception, understanding of the important lifetime of feeling,” thinker Susanne Langer asserted a era later in her trailblazing treatise on the