In this Christmas season, we can’t help but be stunned by beautiful scenes: a church festooned with poinsettias and garlands, snow-covered mountains and frosted trees, a starlit sky, a dance in the Nutcracker, the faces of small children aglow with joy. We are programmed to thrill at beautiful sights. We take photos of them to…

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Years ago when I was in Vancouver, my companion and I went up a snow-covered mountain to a ski lodge. From that height, the view was  spectacular: a vision of pale blue water and islands wrapped in lavender mist. Not having a camera, I tried to imprint the scene on my mind for future reference.…

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