“From The Tower” (in Latin “a turre”) will be an attempt at and dedicated pursuit of chronicling day-to-day thoughts and views on “passing events”, articles and books (both written and audio), podcasts and enlightened conversations. These online “Micro Essays” are a tribute to Michel Eyquem de Montaigne (28 February 1533 – 13 September 1592), who wrote his “Essays” from approximately 1570 to 1592 to record “some traifts of my character and of my humours.”.
These essays will never exceed 200 words, for, as a healthy diet should naturally restrict caloric intake, attempts to promote thought should result in an economy of presentation and an aversion to passing judgment, thereby allowing the reader to engage her or his own mind.
The posts (utilizing quotes, excerpts, audio clips and video, pictures and various other media) will evolve over time and hopefully provide a platform for readers to become inspired and perhaps more curious than they were before entering or happening upon this site.
T.S. Eliot, in his “Four Quartets”, echoed the humility that comes with experience, the desire for knowledge, and the potential for wisdom:
Do not let me hear
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly,
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession,
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God.
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless.
(Part II of East Coker, 2nd stanza)
The words of the late Jim Valvano (1946-1993), a men’s college basketball coach at North Carolina State, provide a more direct and simple summary:
“To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think — spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s a heck of a day.”
Finally, it is hoped that the thoughts provoked and encouraged on this site might lead to an appreciation of a “Structured Existence”, whether that be ritual or habit.
I hope this site will cause some of you to think deep thoughts, sometimes laugh and occasionally, be moved to tears.
Think Deep and Thrive.
Laguna Beach, CA
August 18, 2016