learning

Art Appreciation 101: Tackle That Museum

Have you seen this Instagram feed of little kids looking at famous artwork? It's funky and colorful, and it inspired the above image of Sam with our favorite piece of art at the Stanford art museum, which is down the street and which we've been frequenting lately. I wasn't an art major, and I'm no expert on visual art; I just like it. But one night recently I sat straight up in bed with this thought: if thirty two Picassos, a couple of Braques, and a Warhol live down the street from me and it's free to visit them whenever I want (well, except for Tuesdays and after 5:30 pm), WHY AM I NOT VISITING THEM? ...

Art Appreciation 101: Tackle That Museum

On Paying Attention

Recently I picked up Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life for the first time, and I ended up returning the library book and buying my own copy to underline and dog-ear and keep on the shelf for years of encouragement and reference. It's a book about writing, but it's really a book about paying attention, which isn't quite what I expected. She talks at length about the role of great writers, which is to tell you something true about the world or human existence by capturing the essence of it (or a scene or character or setting or experience) through details. And writing details requires a gift for collecting details, which Anne would tell you comes from paying attention. This got me thinking: what would happen if all of us, writers and non-writers alike, started paying better attention? 

On Paying Attention