like a child constantly wondering and surprised at nothing

“I am sorry I cannot explain the thing to you,” he answered; “but there is no provision in you for understanding it. Not merely, therefore, is the phenomenon inexplicable to you, but the very nature of it is inapprehensible by you. Indeed I but partially apprehend it myself. At the same time you are constantly […]

the things we already have

Learning to love “the things we already have” is always the fount and foundation of contentment, happiness, and wonder: The whole object of real art, of real romance—and, above all, of real religion—is to prevent people from losing the humility and gratitude which are thankful for daylight and daily bread; to prevent them from regarding […]

people who can be started by common things

Indeed, it is a [tragic] fact that the same progressives who insist that government shall be democratic often insist that art must be [elitist], and “the public”, which is a god when they are talking about votes, becomes a brute when they are talking about books and pictures. [The solution] does not lie in increasing […]

irresistibly impelled to welcome life with gratitude

From pages 114-115 of “Creative Vow as the Essence of Fatherhood” in Homo Viator by Gabriel Marcel (1965): The man of today tends to establish, as far as he can, an order of things in which the words “to place oneself at life’s disposal” have literally no meaning. This is true above all in so […]

reverence for existence

The great Swiss author Ramuz, writing some years ago, spoke of a certain sense of holiness “which is the most precious thing the West has known, a certain attitude of reverence for existence–by which we must understand everything which exists, oneself and the world outside oneself, the mysteries which surround us, the mystery of death, […]

teach like the first snow, falling

Undivided Attention by Taylor Mali A grand piano wrapped in quilted pads by movers, tied up with canvas straps—like classical music’s birthday gift to the criminally insane— is gently nudged without its legs out an eighth‐floor window on 62nd street. It dangles in April air from the neck of the movers’ crane, Chopin-­‐shiny black lacquer […]

pay for extraordinary joy in ordinary morals

The aesthetes touched the last insane limits of language in their eulogy on lovely things. The thistledown made them weep; a burnished beetle brought them to their knees. Yet their emotion never impressed me for an instant, for this reason, that it never occurred to them to pay for their pleasure in any sort of […]