Wednesday Quotes
If Sartre is Right
November 12, 2014

“If man…is indefinable, it is because at first he is nothing. Only afterward will he be something, and he will himself have made what he will be. Thus, there is no human nature…” Jean-Paul Sartre, in ‘Existentialism is a Humanism’ A man will be what he will have made himself to be. […]

Slaughtering Pigs Today
November 7, 2014

Today begins the annual pig slaughter at my home. It is always a momentous occasion. Of its many unforgettable moments I think my favorite is when the pig’s carcass has been split in half lengthwise, and laid out on our antique oak butcher board. A side of a pig is one of […]

Gestures: A Meeting of Body and Soul
October 29, 2014

“Imitations practiced from youth become part of nature and settle into habits of gesture, voice, and thought.” Plato, Republic III Plato showed great concern about how people move and use their bodies. Bodily gestures have significance; and they are connected to deeper realities, especially the dispositions of our soul. His immediate prescription […]

Wednesday Quotes
Silence of Monks
October 22, 2014

“For it becomes the master to speak and to teach, but it beseems the disciple to be silent and to listen.” The Rule of St. Benedict Fall break. I am spending a week with fourteen college students, plus my son, living the life—as near as we can—of the Benedictine monks of Clear […]

Wednesday Quotes
Discussing Virtue, Daily
October 15, 2014

“It is the greatest good for a man to discuss virtue every day and those other things about which you hear me conversing and testing myself and others…” Socrates, The Apology Philosophers can get a bad rap—among other things for discussing issues far removed from the exigencies of daily life. This is […]

Wednesday Quotes
Who’s Hiding from Whom
October 8, 2014

“The real nature of things is accustomed to hide itself.” Heraclitus Heraclitus seems to imply that reality strives to veil itself. Is there a latent cruelty in reality—that it recedes from our comprehension? Maybe we should make a distinction: there is a difference between something hiding itself, and something being visible only to […]

To Text, or Not to Text
October 1, 2014

I share some thoughts on this question at Front Porch Republic, following my attending a conference with Wendell Berry this past weekend. Texting: Why I Resolve to Avoid It

Wednesday Quotes
Discipline and Silence
September 24, 2014

“And when it comes to action, put your trust in discipline and silence; in every kind of warfare they count a lot, and particularly in naval engagement.” Phormio, Athenian naval commander, in Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War. The parallels between warfare and life are many. In this speech Phormio seeks to […]

Wednesday Quotes
Remembering a Deceased Parent: One Year Later
September 16, 2014

I had been told. Now I know for myself. Life will not be the same anymore. Today it has been one year since my father passed away as Mom and we children kept vigil by his side. We had suffered with him through Alzheimer’s for several years. I was very grateful that […]

Wednesday Quotes
A Good Boy at Heart
September 10, 2014

A Good Boy By Robert Louis Stevenson “I woke before the morning, I was happy all the day, I never said an ugly word, but smiled and stuck to play.” Can a man be like a boy again? The boy’s business is to stick to play; my business is to stick to […]

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