Pearls from artists* # 259

In Bolivia on Lake Titicaca

In Bolivia on Lake Titicaca

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

In college, I made two important decisions about my career.

First, I would put my writing on the back burner until I became well established in science.  I know of a few scientists who later became writers, like C.P. Snow, Rachel Carson, but no writers who later became scientists.  For some  reason, science – at least the creative, research side of science – is a young person’s game.  In my own field, physics, I found that the average age at which Nobel Prize winners did their prize-winning work was only thirty-six.  Perhaps it has something to do with the focus on and isolation of the subject.  A handiness for visualizing in six dimensions or for abstracting the motion of a pendulum favors an agility of mind but apparently requires little knowledge of the human world.  By contrast, the arts and humanities require experience with life and the awkward contradictions of people, experience that accumulates and deepens with age.       

Alan Lightman in A Sense of the Mysterious:  Science and the Human Spirit

Comments are welcome!

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art, the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York City, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our solitary and sometimes lonely roads.

Posted on August 2, 2017, in 2017, An Artist's Life, Bolivia, Creative Process, Inspiration, Pearls from Artists, Quotes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. As I see it, the brilliance of Rachel Carson and Alan Lightman come from the fertile inner landscape that is nurtured in studying and exploring all perspectives of science, nature and mystery. The human spirit unfolds in its actual interactive experience, melding the spontaneous life with researched isolative discoveries to a deeper understanding that can be expressed finally through writing…a precious glimpse into the mind and mystery of wholeness expressed.

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