"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, July 22, 2011

Birthday Today - Edward Hopper

The great American realist painter, Edward Hopper, was born today in 1882.   Sometimes, when everything seems to revolve around politics, it's good to remember that there's more to life, and that there are beautiful things to look at, and that now we are so lucky that they are at the touch of a finger.   For instance, one of my all-time favorite paintings, Hopper's "Nighthawks," painted in 1942, which hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago:

I'll tell a little story about the Art Institute.   A few years back (before the economics of law firms changed), our firm threw an annual party at the Art Institute.   The occasion was our expansion into Chicago by merging with another, smaller firm located there.   Anyway, we rented out the museum for dinner and a tour, and at one point my wife and I found ourselves alone in a gallery of 15-20 Monets.   Beautiful, beautiful paintings, and a cherished moment... one of those "how did we get here" moments of luck where you thank God you're alive and you're together to see something wonderful.  

Those kinds of moments in a marriage, in a life, don't depend on the CPI, or the Unemployment Rate, or the federal budget deficit, or what's going on in Pakistan or Iran, or the price of oil.   Life is bigger, and better, than we often allow ourselves to recognize.  

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