Every once in a while, a piece of art reaches out and gets a hold of you and doesn’t let go. Like somebody has slipped beneath the veil and spoken directly to your heart, as if this one moment was waiting all along just for you to realize. That’s what good art does. It stems from the mystic, moves to the brain, frees itself through the senses, and then becomes a part of you.

At least, that’s how I felt reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Read More

It’s not every day that you see Superman. But that’s what happens when you go for a walk. Anything can happen. Randomness just around a corner. Adventure only a footstep away. The best way to move is without direction. Mark Twain might have said that. Maybe not. Either way, you know he was thinking it.

Sidewalks and roads are the rivers of the soul. Our bodies try to keep up with the rambling currents of our minds. They hardly do. Thoughts never stop. They just keep going. On and on and on again. Forever. That’s where we’re aiming. Where we’re all heading. The end of the line, just to begin again. Of course, it’s not about ever getting there. It’s the act of leaving—another word for beginning—that’s important. There’s bravery in steps, even ones that lead backwards, and cowardice in standing around, staying put. Anyone can do that. Even a person with no legs.
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The Greek scientist Hippocrates once said that “life is short, art long.” When visiting Athens, one of the world’s oldest cities, you can’t help but feel both the brevity and longevity of life, for Athens is a city past its prime, but still alive, a living, breathing work of art, where in every step beauty is awakened. From historical sites to scenic views, delectable food, fine wine, an invigorating nightlife, a diverse culture, and interesting people, it has it all. It is a city small enough so that you can see practically everything there is to see in a few, short days, while also large enough to leave much to the imagination, filling you with an overwhelming sense of never enough. You can’t help but want more.

Lacking the ritzy skyline and grandeur of modern cities such as New York or Hong Kong, it has hidden beneath its age a tranquil beauty, an unspoken wisdom, a smile wrinkles cannot hide. Antiquity is evident nearly everywhere on cracked pillars, crumbling columns, and weathered buildings older than entire civilizations, all slightly touched with a heavy gray, almost to the point of smoldering black. Faded, uneven, and yet beautiful, a testament to life’s simplistic irony, that when compared to youth, old age always pales in comparison. What is missing in contemporary aesthetics is made up for in natural feel and historical significance. For when in Athens, you are not reading about history, you are walking through it, retracing the steps of ancient philosophers whose ideas helped shape the realities of today. As the birthplace of democracy, the hub of modern civilization, Athens remains a living, breathing museum nestled in the modern age, the perfect place to experience the present while also stepping into the past. Read More