The service of speculative culture or philosophy towards the human spirit, is to rouse, to startle it to a life of constant and eager observation. Every moment some form grows perfect in hand or face, some tone on the hills or the sea is choicer than the rest; some mood of passion or insight or intellectual excitement is irresistibly real and attractive to us – for that moment only.
(extract from Walter Pater’s Renaissance)
Not to seek those moments or to pass them without acknowledging them is, on this short day of frost and sun, to sleep before the evening.
Art, I believe, encourages us to stay awake.