Closer Readings +

The National Parks and History

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. Source: author photograph
It was, and remains, the bluest blue I have ever seen. As I stood on a rock jutting out over Crater Lake, the remnants of a massive volcanic eruption 7,700 years ago, I thought about the immensity of time and history that gives this place shape and meaning. Then I leapt. The freezing cold water disrupted these thoughts for the moment, but the National Parks have a way of sticking with you.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Building Grit – a key to success!

Female Marine on forced march, Guantanamo Bay
"It doesn't matter if people are playing jazz or writing poetry—if they want to be successful, they need to learn how to persist and persevere, how to keep on working until the work is done." —Jonah Lehrer, Imagine: How Creativity WorksRead More »
Categories Closer Readings

The Blue Humanities

photo of a calm sea
“There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath . . . for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness . . . ” —Herman Melville, Moby-DickRead More »

Celebrating Herman Melville

Monument Mountain near Great Barrington, Massachusetts
“Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken . . . It is strange how he persists—and has persisted ever since I knew him, and probably long before—in wandering to-and-fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as the sand hills amid which we were sitting . . . If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us.” —Nathaniel HawthorneRead More »

Searching for Leadership in World War I

Belligerents, Causes, Leaders, and Present (1918) Results
It is ironic to talk about leadership when we discuss World War I. Almost all historians agree that the war was caused by either weak or reckless leadership on the part of the leaders of the European nations involved. Moreover, historians have documented the way generals in each of these countries made a series of tragic mistakes, leading to death in the trenches of Western Europe. Read More »
Categories Closer Readings