The importance of stories

“The stories people tell have a way of taking care of them. If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”

— Barry Lopez, Arctic Dreams, quoted by Kevin Crossley-Holland in Urthona.

Really looking

I attended a mindfulness meditation retreat a couple of weeks ago. As I lay on my back forming an intention not to prod the meditator below me with my foot again, some writing on the rafters caught my eye:

A work of art can only be comprehended by looking at it and no description is a substitute for this.

— Gervase of Canterbury, c. 1141–1210.

That seemed like a pretty good definition to me.