Sunday, September 8, 2013

Marcus Aurelius on Change


“Nature takes substance and makes a horse. Like a sculptor with wax. And then melts it down and uses the material for a tree. Then for a person. Then for something else. Each existing only briefly. It does the container no harm to be put together, and none to be taken apart.”

Marcus Aurelius (121-180AD) Meditations, translated by Gregory Hays

7 comments:

jeff jordan said...

As Captain Beefheart put it so succinctly, "The dust blows forward, the dust blows back."

Village Memorial said...



From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity. ~Edvard Munch

Scorchfield said...

A Magical Metamorphosis of the Ordinary

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703551304576261042931202326.html

JonInFrance said...

Seems to be awfully materialistically centred? And my soul?

Roberto said...

We're only particles of change…
Orbiting around the sun. –Joni Mitchell

dpeters said...

Ok, random question (I tried to fit it best where I could): A bunch of art teachers are debating whether or not learning how to use a ruler and how to draw things to scale is still a needed skill for today's artists.

Some argue that with technology, we no longer have the need to learn how to scale up or down by hand. Others say that even with the technology, there is still a need for artists to learn how to draw and shape to scale by hand.

Opinion?

James Gurney said...

Fair question. I feel nearly all practical skills are useful and the more you have the stronger you are as a person and as an artist. Take, for example, computing numbers in your head. If you can estimate or tally numbers you use the skill all the time, even though that function is readily mechanized by calculators.

I suppose teachers rightly worry about which skills are most valuable to teach in the limited time they have. But the situation is different when you're teaching yourself. A person will teach himself or herself whatever skills they need to meet the demands of a given project. I'm a big believer in project-based self teaching as a life strategy to perfect yourself before and after a formal education.

One last thought: there are skills such as juggling, unicycle riding, hand lettering, or knitting that are fun to learn whether they have immediate practical value or not.