I opened up a new-to-me book on Ralph Waldo Emerson for the first time this afternoon and immediately came across a gem that inspired the most wonderful image in my mind:
Thinking, for Emerson, was not the contemplation of final Truth, but the daily encounter of an active mind with its environment; it was not a special activity but life itself. His lifelong enterprise was what has been the main enterprise of the American imagination: to launch filaments of order, like Whitman’s spider, over the unknown until they catch somewhere on experience.
– from the foreword to Selections from Ralph Waldo Emerson, edited by Stephen E. Whicher
I wish I were a visual artist.