Most people live life dying. It shows in their attitude, their response to circumstances and ultimately in their physical health and appearance. But there is an alternative, an open secret, which is also the key to a happy and fulfilling life: Live life living.
The foregoing paraphrase is my key take-away from Robert Henri's wonderful book, The Art Spirit, which was loaned to me years ago by an 80-year-old sculptor, who was also my neighbor in the island-country north of Seattle and one of the most youthful people I have ever known.
I mention it now because Robert Henri was born on this day, 6/24/1865. He was a leading figure in the Ashcan School of American Realism, a founding member of "The Eight," and a gifted an inspired teacher.
If you read reviews of The Art Spirit on Goodreads or Amazon, you will find a common theme - it's not just a book for painters, though it contains technical guidance they will find useful. It's a book for anyone who wants to live a richer and happier life. In the end, it's about connection to spirit. Connection to source. Make that connection, and you find the secret to life, the key that makes it possible to "life life living" instead of the daily dying most people settle for.
For more about Robert Henri, here's a link to Craig Shillam's blog, which provides a nice summary of Henri's background and 16 Highlights from The Art Spirit. Here are two of them: 1) “Cherish your own emotions and never under value them.” 2) A man must become interesting to himself and must become actually expressive before he can be happy.”
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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