June 28, 2007
The Very Definition of America
Albert Einstein, 1935, a letter to a childhood friend:
I have now set up home in this curious new world and am still brooding like an old hen on the same old scientific eggs, even if the bodily warmth which one needs for brooding has rather diminished over the years. What is so nice in this country is that the people don’t sit so much on top of one another and, as a result, feel more comfortable with each other. So I sit here the whole summer in a quiet bay and sail in a little sailing boat as much as I want to.
P.S. You know, I’d never realized until just now that “brooding” actually means sitting on eggs or baby birds. Changes my impression of the word somewhat.