I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
I heard this quote a long time ago. And I think of it often. Mostly, it makes me sublimely grateful not to have to study politics and war. At university I studied mathematics, and, well, genetics and cell biology. Now, I mostly get to study my children and literature and spiritual theology. Plus, I get to write a bit.
But my writing, as it is in the heart of any other artist, so much more than just artistic expression for the sake of artistic expression. As ‘the pen is mightier than the sword,’ my writing is, in my heart and mind and will, a pathway that forges into a full circle John Adams’ sagacious observation. My writing is intended to give voice and flesh and action to the people of the polis; it is a way of waging peaceful, bloodless war on the prevailing evil in this world. Let my art bring less politicking and more peace, thereby abolishing the need for future generations to study either.
Let my art move hearts and minds and wills to know and love more thoughtfully the One who made it all. Let my art move lives to be lived sacrificially for the sake of other humans, rather than for the sake of self. For to what other ends is all of this study, after all?
And let it be so for all who call ourselves poet and musician and architect and tapestrian and statuario and pastor and entrepreneur and educator and therapist and missionary and mother!