“Do you need a prod?” the poet Mary Oliver asked in her sublime meditation on living with maximal aliveness.
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“Day by day I am approaching the goal which I apprehend but cannot describe,” Ludwig van Beethoven (December 16, 1770–March 26, 1827) wrote to his boyhood friend, rallying his own resilience as he began losing his hearing.
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It’s a hard thing, achieving perspective — hard for the human animal, pinned as we each are to the dust-mote of spacetime we’ve been allotted, not one of us having chosen where or when to be born, not one of us — not even the most fortunate — destined to live for more than a blink of evolu
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Many of the titans of literature have left, alongside a body of work that models powerful writing, abiding advice on the craft that examines the source of that power.
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“And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?” wondered Whitman two years before he wrote a manual on “manly health and training” and two decades before he recovered from his paralytic stroke with a rigorous exercise regimen in the gymnasium of the wilderness.
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“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard wrote in her timeless meditation on living with presence.
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Something happens when you are in a garden, when you garden — something beyond the tactile reminder that, in the history of life on Earth, without flowers, there would be no us.
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“The body provides something for the spirit to look after and use,” computing pioneer Alan Turing wrote as he contemplated the binary code of body and spirit in the spring of his twenty-first year, having just lost the love of his life to tuberculosis.
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“Time is being and being time, it is all one thing, the shining, the seeing, the dark abounding,” Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in her splendid “Hymn to Time” shortly before she returned her borrowed being to eternity.
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“We forget that nature itself is one vast miracle transcending the reality of night and nothingness,” Loren Eiseley wrote in his exquisite meditation on our search for meaning. “We forget that each one of us in his personal life repeats that miracle.
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