I’d long been haunted by a line from Leonardo da Vinci’s “Notebooks,” but I learned that I’d mistyped a single letter, and had utterly transformed the meaning of the quotation. (I like my version better than Leonardo’s.)
The poet Donald Hall wrote a beautiful memoir of the childhood summers he spent with his grandparents on their New Hampshire farm. In his account, he conveys the safety and orderliness of that country life.
It’s important to make sure that we don’t learn the wrong lessons from pain, frustration, criticism, or failure. Like a cat, we want to learn not to sit on a hot stove—but maybe we still want to be able to sit on a stove that’s cold.
In Karl Ove Knausgaard’s essay “Summer,” he perfectly describes an example of Obliger-rebellion that’s turned toward the self: he eats a second ice-cream cone in front of the envious eyes of his children.
We talk about why we shouldn’t confuse buying with doing, reveal a happiness hack for staying in touch with grandparents, review listeners’ suggestions for displaying terrific quotations, and shine a spotlight on author Harriet Washington.
We asked listeners for advice for graduates: What’s the best advice you ever got? What advice do you give to others—or that you wish you could give to your younger self? Plus suggestions for marking the special day during the time of COVID-19.