“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?”
Stephen Hawking dismissed the religious notion of “heaven,” yet brought Robert Browning’s thought to unexpected life.
Hawking, the British cosmologist, theoretical physicist and thinker, died this week, aged 76. Guardian science editor Ian Sample wrote that he symbolised “the unbounded possibilities of the human mind.”
A sign on a pub, seared in my early childhood awareness in the 1960s, resurfaced in memory, on International Women's Day: "No Dogs or Women" it declared. The right to enter a pub is a small symbol, part of an issue that's anything but trivial.
The world listened to America's inauguration speeches and wondered, silently, will the words about unity mean anything? Will American exceptionalism continue? And then Amanda Gorman blazed onto the stage.