x1952-84, Noah's Drunkeness, Artist: Tissot, Photographer: John Parnell, Photo © The Jewish Museum, New York

Living the Art 3: Everything is Holy

Everything Is Holy Now by Randall Auxier It’s a line from Peter Mayer‘s song “Holy Now.” There is a longing for the holy, whatever it is. But the connection between holiness and beauty has been a problem for Western (and some Eastern) religions. If we worship what cannot be seen, what happens when we actually…


Living the Art 2: Out of the Pure Blue

Out of the Pure Blue by Randall Auxier Every time I go to central Texas I am amazed by how ugly and hateful the grackals are. But this bird shimmers and shines iridescently and is often the color of deep indigo, which many regard as the most beautiful blue there is. Something has gone awry…

Diana RiggCollection Christophel

Living the Art 1: American Beauty

American Beauty by Randall Auxier      Crispin Sartwell‘s book Six Names of Beauty is probably the broadest study of the idea of “beauty” ever written. It covers six different languages and their cultures (English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Ancient Greek, Japanese, and Navajo), but also ranges across dozens of fields of meaning departing from each. Each chapter…


“Three Kinds of Soldiers” by Randall Auxier

by Randall Auxier [Editor: Flashing back to Empirical Magazine, I want to invite you to read Randall Auxier’s October 2012 article “Three Kinds of Soldier” in the pdf format that includes the original layout and photographs that went with the essay.] Three Kinds of Soldier


“Extreme Virtue 25: A Train Leaves Boston” by Randall Auxier

                                A Train Leaves Boston . . . by Randall Auxier You suffered though algebra, especially those awful simultaneous  equations in high school— if a train leaves from Boston and another from Chicago . . . and so on— but you might never have seen them as a sort of story, at bottom. The examples…

Pete Seeger

Picktures and Pieces 8: Order in the Court

Order in the Court by Randall Auxier   Here is Mitch McConnell pounding on a little piece of wood instead of a Democrat. A gavel is an interesting symbol. Obviously it symbolizes authority, but more importantly, it marks beginnings and endings. The flow of time is interrupted by the opening rap, and a finite and…


Troubadours Prologue: A Window in Your Heart

A Window in Your Heart by Randall Auxier A gas station in Pennsylvania, just north of Gettysburg. $3.45 a gallon. There is music beneath the canopy as we feed our machines. I know it well, and so do you. . . . The Mississippi Delta is shining like a National Guitar . . . .…