Perhaps it is curiosity — about anything and everything — that made me the writer I am. It has never left me…With this attribute goes another which I prize above everything else, and that is the sense of wonder. No matter how restricted my world may become I cannot imagine it leaving me void of wonder. In a sense I suppose it might be called my religion. I do not ask how it came about, this creation in which we swim, but only to enjoy and appreciate it.
ADVERTISING legend JAMES WEBB YOUNG ON THE PROFESSIONAL IMPORTANCE OF CROSS-DISCIPLINARY CURIOSITY. “Every really good creative person in advertising whom I have ever known has always had two noticeable characteristics. First, there was no subject under the sun in which he could not easily get interested—from, say, Egyptian burial customs to modern art. Every facet Read More
Leisure … is not the privilege of those who can afford to take time; it is the virtue of those who give to everything they do the time it deserves to take. —David Steindl-Rast, with a hat-tip to the always tremendous Maria Popova, from her Brain Pickings post “Why We Lost Leisure: David Steindl-Rast on Read More
Pessimist? Really? I think I’m actually an eternal optimist. I think optimism is whether you are still exhilarated by life, whether you are curious, whether you still believe there is possibility. From this perspective I am very much an optimist. —Ai Weiwei, from the documentary Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
“You wouldn’t have had ‘Street Fighting Man’ without the Vietnam War. There was a sort of reality slowly penetrating. Then it became a ‘them against us’ sort of thing. I could never believe that the British Empire would want to pick on a few musicians. Where’s the threat? You’ve got navies and armies and you’re Read More
“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
In 1972, composer Leonard Bernstein returned to Harvard to live on campus and serve as the ‘Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry,’ a post first established in 1925. The most famous aspect of this prestigious role is the delivery of six public lectures. Bernstein’s cross-disciplinary investigation centered around music’s relationship with language. “In any sense in which Read More