24. The Spirit

Absent a bit more than a month. Apologies. Good reason though. On Ruskin’s Road with Jenn and Suzanne and Michele and Tim and Wendy and Sebastian in Switzerland and Venice. More about that coming. In the meantime, what’s below: an excerpt from the conclusion to one of Ruskin’s early Oxford lectures, 1870. Imagine what his students would have thought of this paragraph! Imagine what our students, 145 years later, would think of it! Then there’s what we think of it, specifically and serially. Let me know. I think it is true. Every word.

As you know more and more of the created world, you will find that the true will of its Maker is that its creatures should be happy, that he has made everything beautiful in its time and its place, and that it is chiefly by the fault of men, when they are allowed the liberty of thwarting His laws that Creation groans or travails in pain. The Love of God exists, and you may see it–and live in it if you will. A Spirit does actually exist which teaches the ant her path, the bird her building, and men, in an instinctive and marvelous way, whatever lovely arts and noble deeds are possible to them. Without it you can do no good thing. To the grief of it you can do many bad ones. In the possession of it is your peace and your power.

More of that wonderful road anon.

Be very well and spirited out there.

🙂

Jim

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