Sarah Lewis reading from James Baldwin’s The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity, and discussing things that last: traditions, teachings, and creations.
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My great-grandparents feel fictional to me. Sure, I’ve seen pictures, and I know their names, but do I feel their touch and influence? No, not really. My grandparents, however, are four presences I definitely notice.
What have you learnt from your ancestors? And how might they be present in you, today?
Sarah Lewis is an art and cultural historian, author of The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery, founder of the Vision & Justice initiative, and a professor at Harvard. She’s much more than that, though, and as she reminds us, we are all more than our pedigrees.
Sarah reads two pages from the speech-turned-essay, ‘The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity’ by James Baldwin. [reading begins at 16:30]
Hear us discuss:
- “The narrative you construct about who you are, and who the world should be to accommodate you, is foundational for your life.” [8:50]
- Success ≠ safety: “Your achievements don’t accompany you when you have to produce all over again.” [24:43]
- Prioritizing projects and saying no to distractions. [26:50]
- The diverse perspectives and approaches to tradition. [28:59]
- Unlikely teachers: “I take lessons now from greater sources than I did in the past.” [33:21]
- Filling the role of the elder as you age. [36:02]
- “The seeming accident oftentimes never is.” [43:20]
Get access to full transcripts and past episodes at www.MBS.works/podcast
James Baldwin | The Artist’s Struggle for Integrity