Tag Archives: Steve Arnold

skylights in my mind

27 Mar


Art by Steve Arnold


There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors with no aim beyond their facts are one-story men. Two-story men compare reason and generalize, using labors of the fact collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, and predict. Their best illuminations come from above through the skylight.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
US author & physician (1809 – 1894)

I use this quote in class to describe good essays, but actually I can relate plenty to one and two story thinking.  I can be a good fact collector, but in many ways, I’m learning to step outside of what I see.  The facts around me are not where it’s at.  These days,  it is all about the skylights.

The word intellect seems so academic, so mind driven, status oriented,  but what OWH is seeing, I imagine,  is the powerful force of the human being – our ability to generate change by allowing the light from above to illuminate.

When I allow the light in, when I take the illumination from above,  everything is bathed in an organic light that shows what was can now be something new.

We can choose to remain in the dark, artificially lit rooms on the ground floor or we can walk up the stairs, no matter what, and choose to flood our world with the power of the sun and the energy from above, which always far exceeds what is.  The light from the skylights actually helps materialize something new.  And then, what is comes to be what we saw before it was. (oooh,  my phrasing is crazy!)

Am I the last one on this train?

The caboose is still a good ride. 🙂


“Less conventional thoughts, breaking into more creative mind, expanding into vast new realms, leading into a whole new struggle-less melting and architecturing -leaving behind doctrines ever so absolute in all forms of expression – soaring up and into unexplored kingdoms.”




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