Sign in

Russell Martin

“Truth is one, but the wise have given it many names.”


“There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”


A CAVE CALLED Shanidar cuts into a limestone cliff that rises above the Zab River, a tributary of the Tigris in the foothills of far northern Iraq. Kurdish tribespeople live at Shanidar today, and it’s likely that the cave has been continuously populated by humans and their ancestors for 100,000 years. During his excavations at Shanidar in the 1960s, archaeologist Ralph Solecki encountered the remains of a Neanderthal male buried between two boulders near the…

The Journey for Peace of Pablo Casals


“The existence of Pablo Casals is a source of great joy. He is one of those artists who comes to the rescue of humanity’s honor.”


“Intonation is a question of conscience.”


PABLO CASALS WAS born thirteen years before the invention of the automobile and died four years after spacecraft first took men to the moon. At twenty-two, he performed selections from Fauré and Saint-Saëns for Queen Victoria, and at eighty-five he performed pieces by Mendelssohn and Schumann for John F. Kennedy. …

The Entwined Histories of the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty


“No true American patriot can countenance any such expenditure for bronze females in the present state of finances, and hence, unless the Frenchmen change their mind and pay for this “gift” themselves, we shall have to do without it.”

Editorial in the New York Times in opposition to plans for the installation of the Statue of Liberty, September 1876

“Is the city of Paris to permit itself to be deformed by monstrosities, by the mercantile dreams of a maker of machinery; to be disfigured forever and to be dishonored? …

D.H. Lawrence and Lady Chatterley's Lover


To be with Lawrence was a kind of adventure, a voyage of discovery into newness and otherness. . . . He looked at things with the eyes, so it seemed, of a man who had been at the brink of death and to whom, as he emerges from the darkness, the world reveals itself as unfathomably beautiful and mysterious. ~ Aldous Huxley

HE WOULD CALL his new novel Tenderness, and with it he knew he was writing more boldly, truer somehow than he had before about the primal harmony of body and mind and the way in which sex — sex surrendered to the elemental pulses of living, sex infused with a soul — was the essential balancing act of the universe, a ritual recreation of the union of sun and earth.

Sitting beneath a canopy of umbrella pines in the crisp, emotive air of a Tuscan autumn, he had begun to write what he imagined would be a simple story, one…

The Muslim Golden Age in Tenth-Century Spain


A SMALL ARMY Of North African tribesmen led by Tariq ibn Ziyad, the Arab governor of Tangier, crossed the narrow strait separating Morocco from the Iberian peninsula in a fragile armada of wooden boats in the year 711 and then quickly overtook the scattered coastal Visigoth settlements they encountered. …

A Handmade Map of Death


“When we are born, we start to die, and the end begins at the beginning.” Boethius

THEIR REMAINING DAYS were nearly countable now: those few women at that February morning’s mass. Four gray heads, two shrouded in silk scarves, four faces etched with age and more of living than I could yet imagine. Four names I knew: Mattie, Marge, Helena, Lorraine, though really little else about them except the steadfastness of their presence at that hour before the larger world awoke. …

“At last we seemed made of the same stuff . . . “



IT WAS THE early autumn of 1968, that year in which so much of the world seemed to have come unmoored from its moral shore, and I was en route to Barcelona — a sixteen year old bound for a school-year abroad saying goodbye to his family at Denver’s old Stapleton airport. While we waited for my flight, we stood for a time in the warm September sun on a rooftop observation deck, all of us finding those moments a little awkward, I remember, watching a succession of propellered airplanes arrive and depart among the jets and saying only…

Russell Martin

Russell Martin is a digital media specialist, nonfiction author, novelist, screenwriter, filmmaker, and and the principal of Say Yes Quickly Productions.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store