Marginalia on our search for meaning.
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The Birth of the Byline: How a Bronze Age Woman Became the World’s First Named Author and Used the Moon to Unify the World’s First Empire

Days after I arrived in America as a lone teenager, the same age Mary Shelley was when she wrote Frankenstein, not yet knowing I too was to become a writer, I found myself wandering the vast cool halls of the Penn Museum. There among the thousands of ancient artifacts was one to which I would owe my future life — an alabaster disk from Bronze Age Mesopotamia,...

Thu Jun 20, 2024 19:48
On Change and Denial

“It’s strange to feel change coming. It’s easy to ignore. An underlying restlessness seems to accompany it like birds flocking before a storm.” Central to our ambivalence about change is the fundamental difficulty of letting go. I am not sure what is more difficult — the heartache of enduring a change made against your will and without your consent,...

Tue Jun 18, 2024 17:34
Befriending a Blackbird

Friendship is a lifeline twined of truth and tenderness. That we extend it to each other is benediction enough. To extend it across the barrier of biology and sentience, to another creature endowed with a wholly other consciousness, partakes of the miraculous. Born in England in the final year of the nineteenth century, Hockley Clarke grew up loving...

Mon Jun 17, 2024 01:58
The Beach and the Soul: Anne Morrow Lindbergh on the Benedictions of the Sea

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient… Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach.” “Without a body there’s no soul and without the latter there’s no way to speak about the sea,” the poet, painter, and philosopher Etel Adnan...

Fri Jun 14, 2024 22:14
The Pleasure of Being Left Alone

“An exquisite peace obtains: a drowsy, golden peace, flowing honey-sweet over my dwelling, soaking it, dripping like music from the walls… A peace for gods; a divine emptiness.” There is a form of being together that feels as easy and spacious as being alone, when your experience is not crowded out or eclipsed by the presence of the other but deepened...

Thu Jun 13, 2024 22:34
A Glow in the Consciousness: The Continuous Creative Act of Seeing Clearly

“Simply to look on anything… with the love that penetrates to its essence, is to widen the domain of being in the vastness of non-being.” There is no pure perception — of a flower, of a mountain, of a person. In everything we look at, we see partly a reflection of ourselves — a projection of an internal model seeking to approximate the actuality....

Wed Jun 12, 2024 02:13

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