“We have no art. We do everything as well as we can.”

She probably wouldn’t like me saying this, but there is something almost otherworldly about Corita Kent. Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Her…

Sorting out

– finishing up (tidying by reading, part 1) Moving my library, I became aware of quite a few half-read books laying around. I have started sorting them out — some are too bad, vexatious or tedious to be read, but most of them had just been misplaced or forgotten in the middle of things… And…

An individual human existence should be like a river —

— advice for days to come: The best way to overcome the fear of death—so at least it seems to me—is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should…

Notes on Melancholy, part 4

In my first note on melancholy I quoted the following question raised by Jacky Bowring, she asked: How can things that are sorrowful be beautiful? Louise Glück’s First Snow is not a theoretical answer, but a wonderful demonstration of something deeply sorrowful becoming almost unbearably beautiful – First Snow  by Louise Glück  Like a child, the earth’s going to…

A note on compulsive performativity – and how to care (for) more

Thoughts excerpted from Jan Verwoert’s text: I CAN, I CAN’T, WHO CARES (2008) Some have said that we have come to inhabit the post-industrial condition. But what could that mean? After the disappearance of factory work from the lives of most people in the Western world, we have entered into a culture where we do no…

The dizziness of freedom

Further musings on Fear & Anxiety  The Concept of Anxiety according to Kierkegaard: anxiety/dread/angst is unfocused fear Kierkegaard uses the example of a man standing on the edge of a tall building or cliff. When the man looks over the edge, he experiences a focused fear of falling, but at the same time, the man feels a terrifying…

The Two Survivals

Ars Poetica V (personal lyric, cont.) Gregory Orr writes: Survival no. 1 The difference between a lyric poet and a person who does not write poems is that the poet has an arena in which to focus his/her encounter with disorder. Every encounter with disorder of any sort that results in a poem is a successful…

Poetry – Philosophy – Religion

There is this situation, or maybe constellation is a better word for it, which really interests me; it has to do with the relationship between art, philosophy and religion. Ars Poetica V (personal lyric, cont.) – or: why you all should go ahead and read Gregory Orr Gregory Orr calls personal lyric a gift – given…

About life on the land,

& about a woman finding her way in middle age I go to philosophy for wisdom. I go to my library of skimmed-through books for a new and more thorough understanding of the world and my own (hypothetical) place within it. And sometimes, when reading the best, that is; when reading a thinker who can write like a…

What is Contemplation?

Contemplating Thomas Merton, contemplating contemplation: Nothing could be more alien to contemplation than the cogito ergo sum of Descartes. “I think, therefore I am.” This is the declaration of an alienated being, in exile from his own spiritual depths, compelled to seek some comfort in a proof for his own existence (!) based on the observation that he “thinks.”…