Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It may be impossible for most to imagine what it would be like to live surrounded by objects made with love and full engagement of human attention. We live surrounded, or even overwhelmed by objects produced by machines that lose our interest in a matter of days or weeks, then fill our closets and then landfills. There are no feelings involved in the making of these things. We may be lured to acquire them by our fascination with the new. A very normal human desire is to own and possess. We may find pleasure when these objects get noticed by our friends. But once they have gained brief notice, their value plummets.

There is another very normal human desire that involves the hand. At one time anthropologists wondered whether to call us Homo Farber rather than Homo Sapien. We are makers by birth and instinct. It is in our genes. It is vital to our being. To ignore our children's impulse to create is to deprive them of fundamental values and experience. The photo above is of Clear Spring School students making baby owls from the book Hoots & Toots & Hairy Brutes.

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