Sculptor Anne Truitt's first book was titled Daybook. It's a book of her journal entries, full of comments on her work, her family, her life. One ends up quietly admiring a quiet woman who seems to live her life with a natural integrity. Truitt published two subsequent books of the same kind. Neither is quite as good as "Daybook" but both are worthwhile.
My own experience of Ireland is embodied in this paragraph --
I am sure it is from those days that I take the belief that the best of life is life lived quietly, where nothing happens but our calm journey through the day, where change is imperceptible and the precious life is everything.
Today is the birthday of George Santayana, according to the Writer's Almanac. Santayana was born in Spain but he spent almost his entire life in the United States, though without ever becoming a citizen. For many years he taught philosophy at Harvard, and his students included Conrad Aiken, Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens.
Santayana wrote a great deal about art and the importance of creative thinking. As he grew older, he became tired of teaching and what he called the 'thistles of trivial and narrow scholarship,' so he left Harvard and spent the rest of his life writing. His books include many philosophical works, as well as collections of poetry. He said --
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
[Santayana] was the man who coined the famous warning, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." . . . Santayana wrote a great deal about art and the importance of creative thinking. . . . As he grew older, he became tired of teaching and what he called the "thistles of trivial and narrow scholarship," so he left Harvard and spent the rest of his life writing. His books include many philosophical works, as well as collections of poetry. He also spent about 20 years working on a novel, The Last Puritan (1935), about a young man's struggles in Boston high society just before World War I.
Today the Writer's Almanac informs us that when Jane Austen's later novels proved much less popular than her earlier, her relatives suggested she try writing another kind of novel, perhaps historical romance. She replied --
I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.
According to Andrea Barrett, "It's hard to explain how much one can love writing. If people knew how happy it can make you, we would all be writing all the time. It's the greatest secret of the world." (from the Writer's Almanac