A Saturday in the Life

As much as possible these days, I play the game of intuition on the weekends. I have designed a “no plans” lifestyle for myself, which allows for complete freedom of being during my non-work hours. The game of intuition, for me, means acting as instinctively as possible, moment to moment, from basically the moment I leave work on Friday afternoons until going to bed on Sunday evenings. Continue reading “A Saturday in the Life”

On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision

HERMAN MELVILLE (1819-1891)

On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision                                                                     1851

There is a certain tragic phase of humanity which, in our opinion, was never more powerfully embodied than by Hawthorne. We mean the tragicalness of human thought in its own unbiased, native, and profounder workings. Continue reading “On Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tragic Vision”

On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE (1804-1864)

On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance                                                                   1856

[Melville] stayed with us from Tuesday till Thursday; and, on the intervening day, we took a pretty long walk together, and sat down in a hollow among the sand hills (sheltering ourselves from the high, cool wind) and smoked a cigar. Continue reading “On Herman Melville’s Philosophic Stance”

The Women Begin to Sing

In the house the women begin to sing. We hear the first line commence, beginning to swell as they take hold, and we rise and move toward the door, taking off our hats and throwing our chews away. We do not go in. We stop at the steps, clumped, holding our hats between our lax hands in front or behind, standing with one foot advanced and our heads lowered, looking aside, down at our hats in our hands and at the earth or now and then at the sky and at one another’s grave, composed face.

-William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying

If You’re Lost Enough

Make yourself up a cheering song of how
Someone’s road home from work this once was,
Who may be just ahead of you on foot
Or creaking with a buggy load of grain.
The height of the adventure is the height
Of country where two village cultures faded
Into each other. Both of them are lost.
And if you’re lost enough to find yourself
By now, pull in your ladder road behind you
And put a sign up CLOSED to all but me.
Then make yourself at home.

From Directive, Robert Frost
(1947) Continue reading “If You’re Lost Enough”

Words as Hard as Cannon Balls

 . . . speak what you think today in words as hard as cannon balls, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today. Ah, then, exclaim the aged ladies, you shall be sure to be misunderstood! Misunderstood! It is a right fool’s word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson Continue reading “Words as Hard as Cannon Balls”

A Particle

I need to take a break from drawing parsimonious phylogenetic trees and hating myself for not developing a steadier, more strategic method for studying science. Current method: begin studying for an exam worth 1/3 of my grade a week before the exam. By twenty two years of age and after eighteen years of schooling, one would think that I’d have defeated procrastination by now. Continue reading “A Particle”

Slow

“Gertrude Stein says that if you are way ahead with your head you naturally are old fashioned and regular in your daily life. And Picasso adds, do you suppose Michel Angelo would have been grateful for a gift of a piece of renaissance furniture, no he wanted a Greek coin.”

-Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

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