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The Meditations of Arthur Foote II

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Arthur Foote II To read the Harvard Square Library biography of Arthur Foote II, click here.


We would open our ears to all the varied music of the world: the melodies of human voices, the swelling harmonies of many instruments, and all the music not made by us: the songs of wind and bird, the thunder’s tympani the rhythms of running water.


O You who are the heartbeat of life, I would recognize and cherish the wonder of each new day. Let me learn to be fully alive and alert, to be wholly and solely myself when I absently turn away from love, from beauty, from human need, and grow preoccupied with trivial concerns and superficial wants, let something always awaken me to recognition of the depth and wonder of this reality that surrounds me, that beckons to me. When I am agitated or anxious, annoyed or distracted, let me remember the way back to inner quiet and serenity.


Every day of my life I live beholden to others.

I am beholden to those who have been guardians of the human heritage of knowledge and wisdom, stewards of the truths, beauties, and goodnesses which are our human legacy: my life is wondrously enhanced by those who have gone before.

I am beholden to creative spirits—wordsmiths, smearers of pigment, chiselers of marble, midwives of music—all who have opened my eyes and ears to beauty; and to those thinkers of deep thoughts, who have looked beyond the known into the unknown: their creations and wisdom guide my way.


Let this be my prayer: that the people of Earth shall be one at last; that I may be part of the cure, not part of the world’s sickness; one who seeks true community, true meeting; that I may love excellence, and hate shoddiness, duties shirked, and jobs half-done; that I may remember that they are many who hunger for warm rice, for milk and cheese, even a crust of stale bread.