Tuesday, December 25, 2012
  Winterheimatkunde

The nesting drive grows strong in winter. As I walked this morning through gray air with a few snowflakes, I noted woodsmoke from chimneys and lights in windows. Though the technology changes over the years, those two markers of specifically human homes remain constant. The hearth and the lamp.


More from Richard Elwood Dodge's 1903 Home Geography:
Every child who goes to school spends his days partly in school, partly in playing or working, and partly at home. At home he eats, sleeps, perhaps plays with his brothers and sisters, and gets the clothes that keep him warm and dry. ...

People are not the only dwellers in homes, however, for the small birds and the wild animals have homes, but they do not always live in the same home all year.

Every country boy knows the homes of certain birds. He has probably watched them build the homes and seen the way they live and the way the old birds feed the young birds and teach them to fly. ...

No matter where we go, we shall find people living in homes. So, if we can find out why we live in homes, and what we do there, we will be better able to understand other people who do many things that seem strange to us now, but who are busy earning a living in different ways.

An old deserted farmhouse, such as one often sees in the country, is not a home. Neither is an empty city house or a vacant apartment a home. But they would become homes if somebody moved into them.

People are, therefore, a necessary part of every home, and a house is only a place for a family to live in and to make into a home.
Note the emphasis on human presence, and the calibration to human scale. The rest of the book has the same focus. All is defined by the connections and relations between you and the rest of the universe. All verbs, no nouns. All about how you respond to the world and influence the world, nothing about raw facts.

We need to teach everything this way.

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Wonder if bees feel the same longing, the same inward pull toward the nest, when they sense the bee equivalent of hearth and lamp? [Would those equivalents be Hexagon shapes and Larva smell?]


Artistic sidenote: I was going to use the iconic dome-shaped beehive in this picture, but a little googling convinced me that American and Euro bees don't build their hives in that form. Their hives are generally built into and around a hole in a tree. Using a realistic nest in the same image with toonish bees and toonish trees probably violates art rules... but I respect bees and want to give them a proper home in my picture.

= = = = =

[Posted this a few weeks ago; decided it deserved to be a year-end or Xmas item, so moved it to this date.]

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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