3/3/14

Curiosity

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." e. e. cummings

My friend Alison and I were discussing what constitutes a full life, and decided two things are absolutely essential: curiosity and passion. There is not much in this world that I am not interested in, but there are a few topics that I feel like I need another life to fully quench my curiosity. Here's a handful:


  • The history of cheese. Never found a book that delves into it as deeply as I want. So here's the dream: I write the book. Work through Europe exploring centers of cheese making, cataloging recipes, and of course, tasting all that cheese. I think medieval Europe would come to a whole new light through the study of cheese. I'd come home one hundred pounds heavier, I'm sure. So now I just need to find a publisher, right...?
  • Marine biology. I planned on becoming a marine biologist until I took my first Art History course when I was 16. I knew exactly what I wanted to study too - cephalopods. They are endlessly interesting. Even now my girls have to drag me away from that mammoth, tentacle-y, diaphanous octopus at the aquarium.
  • Astronomy. I'll admit, I am more interested in the romantic side of astronomy than the mathematical. But Astrophysics spikes my curiosity. For a while at BYU I toyed with the idea of majoring in Physics, and remember sitting in on an upper level Physics class. Two fellas asked for my number, and I told them they should take an art history course, ha ha.
  • Okay - you already know this one. Joan of Arc. From the profane to the sacred, images and interpretations of the saint, I'm obsessed. Did you know that Mark Twain wrote a seminal biography about her? He spent months in France researching her life. He thought it was his "best and most important" book. Yes - the Mark Twain of Huckleberry Finn. I am reading his Joan, and I am completely fascinated with how a nineteenth-century American writer approaches the topic. 
Of course the history of art is my greatest passion, but honestly, curiosity knows no bounds. What makes you curious?

3 comments:

  1. The night sky, why animals do the things they do, why people do the things they do, languages, how cultures develop, why certain books become popular while others languish on the shelves. You know. Stuff like that.

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  2. Space, time and distance; the motion of color as it changes; brains and ALL that they do; the connection between the physical and the spiritual - in relation to time, as well; the earth underground, volcanoes, sinkholes, caves, tunnels, everything down to the core; the bottom of the sea; weather.

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  3. I love how diverse your interests are!

    When I was going through an exceptionally rough time a few years ago (which included, among other things, my mom's decline in health due to cancer), I felt like curiosity in art history kept me going. That was the time that I delved into my art history blog full force. I'm glad that you are focusing on the things that keep you curious, because I think curiosity does help to humans going.

    As for my own curious nature (going beyond art history, of course), I'm curious about a lot of things: films and the history from "The Golden Age" of Hollywood, geology, music theory and technique, gardening techniques, and children's fantasy literature.

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