“Small minds are concerned with the extraordinary, great minds with the ordinary.” Blaise Pascal As a high school student, I found myself spending the night alone in an Intensive Care Unit. One of my lungs had spontaneously deflated while I was lifting heavy boxes of books at work, and the doctors had been forced […]Read more "Y: “You’ve Got Mail” – Why Ordinary Characters Are Something Quite Special"
“There drew he forth the brand Excalibur, And o’er him, drawing it, the winter moon, Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt: For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks, Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth-work Of subtlest jewellery.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson – Morte d’Arthur […]Read more "X: Excalibur and the Greatest Weapon of All"
When War of the Worlds, an 1898 science fiction novel by H.G. Wells, was performed as a Halloween episode for CBS Radio in 1938, it created widespread panic. Those who were not familiar with the novel assumed they were listening to actual news, and for a few terrible hours believed that Martians were actually attacking […]Read more "W: “War of the Worlds” and the Power of One Word"
“Once again I allowed myself to be led astray into reaching for stars that are too big—another failure—and I have had my fill of that.” Vincent Van Gogh Though he was painting from the insane asylum he had checked himself into and was attempting to paint a night-time view while working during the day, Van […]Read more "V: Vincent Van Gogh and the Artist’s “Failure”"
“It is only with the heart that one can see clearly, for the most essential things are invisible to the eye.” Hans Christian Andersen – The Ugly Duckling Hans Christian Andersen, poet and author from Denmark, may have published The Ugly Duckling back in 1843, but this classic children’s tale is just as beloved – […]Read more "U: Uniquely You: Lessons from the “The Ugly Duckling”"
“My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite.” William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet We all grow up hearing the tale of Romeo and Juliet, and laughing at caricatures of Bugs Bunny calling for his “Romeo” […]Read more "R: “Romeo and Juliet” – An Honest Glimpse of True Love"
Queen Elizabeth II enjoyed Agatha Christie’s mystery novels so much that she made the author a Dame of the British Empire. It’s hard to believe that in the beginning, Christie was a hardworking World War I nurse and military wife who was originally unsuccessful at getting her first book published! In 1920, however, a small […]Read more "Q: What Agatha Christie, the “Queen of Crime,” Reveals About the Human Heart"
“In his eyes, all the sadness of the world.” Christine – Phantom of the Opera “Pitiful creature of darkness, what kind of life have you known? God, give me courage to show you. you are not alone!” Christine – Phantom of the Opera In its day, French Grand Opera was the single greatest […]Read more "P: “Phantom of the Opera” – A Haunting Reminder"
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.” During college, I volunteered to earn extra money by working in the library during Christmas break. No one was on campus, and the entire building was absolutely deserted. To pass the […]Read more "L: Three Powerful Symbols in “The Lord of the Rings”"
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Frida Kahlo While strolling through a modern art museum one afternoon, I suddenly stopped and cried, “Why are all the paintings in this room of this crazy lady with the unibrow?” Laughing, my wife took me by […]Read more "K: Frida Kahlo – The Beauty and Danger of Self-Examination"