“Intellectual activity nurtures an inner life,” sums up Hitz, “a human core that is a refuge from suffering as much as it is a resource for reflection for its own sake.
I have recently come across David Attenborough rendition of The Peregrine, J.A. Baker’s 1967 masterpiece of “nature writing” though it’s infinitely more and other and higher than mere nature writing.
There’s a wonderful chapter, called “Days’ Work,” on the drawings of Michelangelo and the Gee’s Bend quilters from rural Alabama, specifically Loretta Pettway who, like Michelangelo, found her work almost unbearably burdensome and did not especially enjoy it. And made quilts that were almost preternaturally beautiful.
This longing for life to continue is one reason why the teachings of the Church on marriage and family make total sense. Those of us without children support–in a sense, lay down our lives–for other people’s families and children.
“We have to renounce far more than we accomplish.” –Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life “How can we possibly entertain the idea that we are different from other men, when we shout, cry, feel afraid, lack determination, and behave atrociously just like everybody else?” –Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert