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Tag Archives: simplicity

A Little Bit of Wisdom and Perspective.


A very well-put, thoughtful piece by Erik Lindberg on how even the most liberal democrats and greens are probably climate change deniers nearly as myopic as any Republican.  The democratic problem is a belief that no serious change of lifestyle is required: that all we need to do is shift the sources of our energy […]

Thoreau on Simplicity.


Reflecting further on what I am looking for, as opposed to what Helen and Scott Nearing were looking for, I find much of the answer in Thoreau as usual: I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired […]

Easter 2013 and New Hope.


I went to Easter Mass at the church of Saint Francis Xavier in Brooklyn, a pretty church in Park Slope which does not, despite its name, appear to have any formal connection with the Jesuits. Some years ago it might have been difficult for me to feel the joy the holiday seemingly required – often […]

Timon of Athens, from the National Theater in London.


Chance led me, as it sometimes leads the prepared mind, to Plutarch’s Life of Marc Antony not long ago, and I was struck by the following incident. After the collapse of Marc Antony’s fortunes and his disastrous defeat at the Battle of Actium, knowing that the assassins of Augustus were on their way and that […]

Jack Kerouac, Man Who Got It.


From Kerouac’s Richmond Hill journals (the area I grew up in Queens): MONDAY AUG. 23 – Told my mother today she ought to go live down South with the family instead of spending all her time slaving in shoe factories in order to earn just enough money to spend on the system of expenses that […]

On Thoreau and Simplicity.


Not great, but ad rem.

Wendell Berry on why I live the way I do.


“However destructive may be the policies of the government and the methods and products of the corporations, the root of the problem is always to be found in private life. We must learn to see that every problem that concerns us as conservationists always leads straight to the question of how we live. The world […]

FDR – the greatest American President.


Just a few months ago I stopped off at FDR’s “Little White House,” the modest country cabin in Georgia where he took his vacations and where he died.  Its simplicity – it is one storey, and only a few rooms, perhaps fifteen hundred square feet – mocks our modern mores, and shows more starkly the […]

Thomas Merton’s Raids on the Unspeakable.


When I tried to read Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain while in college – a book compared (by the publishing trade) with Augustine’s Confessions – I was astounded to find the book self-promoting, egotistical, petty, and posturing, without a single elevated thought or even sentence that could place it with the Confessions.  This is one […]

Why We Simplify.


“To watch the corn grow, and the blossoms set; to draw hard breath over ploughshare or spade; to read, to think, to love, to hope, to pray — these are the things that make men happy; they have always had the power of doing these, they never will have the power to do more. The […]