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About


Purpose

Bits of literature and the humanities, much of it poetry-related, to provoke and inspire. 

Why

By the time I was in 12th grade, I had gone to 12 schools, from the very worst, where the teachers didn’t care and the learning was by rote, to the very best, where the teachers brought out the relevance and meaning of their subject, creating classes that were invigorating, at times even thrilling.  

I remember a Shakespeare class at one school in which the teacher recited and tested us on the definitions of obscure words whose definitions were already right there in the book. This “vocab class” was of course tedious, the other students and I mentally checked out, and we became completely uninterested in Shakespeare, his plays, and literature in general.

At another school, I vividly remember the teachers unearthing the very soul of the authors and their books, bringing the stories and poems to life, through various analytical and especially, celebratory methods. Their passion and enthusiasm was infectious. These teachers invited us into new realms of unforeseen interiority and I was in awe. Literature could be relevant, meaningful, even adventurous and pleasurable! It started to sink in that the humanities are essential in connecting us to ourselves and to one another.

That a guide could make such a difference in whether or not someone began to love or become indifferent to books and art, I found striking. I wanted to support the former by possibly teaching, though the reality of it meant more school, a lot of debt, and a scenario (a lot of talking) that didn’t fit with my personality. So after college, I led what turned into an independent study program and an itinerant lifestyle that continued for years, until I came across a post-orthodox rabbi and twitter.

The rabbi urged that to find our purpose, we need to tap into our individual strengths, start something that uplifts others, commit to it no matter what, and that the trick to sticking with it is to make ourselves accountable to others. This created a fire in me to finally do something more tangible. Just having started using twitter at work, that was it, I would post bits of literature and the humanities, and keep it going for as long as I could no matter what, more like the tortoise than the hare. 

Think of Lit Hum as a socialist experiment masquerading as a blog, as a site that offers little totems against ceaseless activity, tools for securing the somatic calm that is the beginning of all careful and even visionary thought. May Lit Hum help nurture and nourish our souls.

kelly@lit-hum.org













4 comments:

  1. You certainly achieve that and I gain much comfort and solace from your posts - bravo sir!

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  2. Thank you. So glad it helps.

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  3. This is such a gold mind! Thank you so much!!!

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  4. Great to hear that you find it useful and pleasurable. Thanks!

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