Terrence Malick, Andrew Wyeth, Bob Dylan… American Pastoralism is the shit.
"Tradition is living and active, but convention is passive and dead. Tradition does not form us automatically: we have to work to understand it. Convention is accepted passively, as a matter of routine. Therefore, convention easily becomes an evasion of reality. It offers us only pretended ways of solving the problems of living - a system of gestures and formalities. Tradition really teaches us to live and shows us how to take full responsibility for our own lives. Thus tradition is often flatly opposed to what is ordinary, to what is mere routine. But convention, which is a mere repetition of familiar routines, follows the line of least resistance. One goes through an act, without trying to understand the meaning of it all, merely because everyone else does the same.
Tradition, which is always old, is at the same time ever new because it is always reviving - born again in each new generation, to be lived and applied in new and particular ways. Tradition nourishes the life of the spirit; convention merely disguises its interior decay.
Tradition is creative. Always original, it always opens out new horizons for an old journey. Convention, on the other hand, is completely unoriginal. It is slavish imitation. It is closed upon itself and leads to complete sterility.
Tradition teaches us how to love, because it develops and expands our powers, and shows us how to give ourselves to the world in which we live, in return for all that we have received from it.”
Thomas Merton, No Man is An Island