Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Noble features...

I am writing this month about self-culture, the idea of making your life an art.  A particularly vivid example of self culture for me is my Mother in Law.  Not a particularly athletic person, she took up running several years ago and ran in marathons (one of which I got to see.)  A few years ago she decided she wanted to ride a bicycle across the country for a charity for which she invested much time.  She trained hard and accomplished what must have been a grueling thing...She developed an interest in archeology, studied, read, and took classes and went on digs.  Our children were blessed for years with beautiful knitted sweaters that "Nana" made for them-truly works of art.  And all of this just scratches the surface. In other words, she carved out a noble life for herself and for others...  Henry David Thoreau put it this way:

"Every (person) is the builder of a temple, called his body, to the God he worships, after a style purely his own, nor can he get off by hammering marble instead.  We are all sculptors and painters, and our material is our own flesh and blood and bones.  Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality in imbrute them."

Thanks, Nana, for the example and

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