Sunday, March 09, 2014

something one might vehemently dislike

  1. 1.
    something or someone that one vehemently dislikes.

I've been in Houston, Texas for a cousin's wife's funeral and I am reminded of all that I love about Arkansas. My home is so beautiful. When we go someplace in the car, it is through wooded valleys or on roads winding among mountaintops. We see hills and forests, and then I arrive at a place like this where there are too many cars moving much too fast or much too slowly, one extreme or the other. The sky is a tangle of wires strewn with purpose, but binding the earth which is left barren beneath.

It would be impolite for me to tell Houstonians that their place in the scheme of things is rather unpleasant except for the private escapes provided by back yards and neighborhoods. But that, it seems is the case. People know it and make no apologies for it. People here manage to escape the ugliness by retreat into quiet neighborhoods and easy access to distraction. My cousin has a large greenhouse in his backyard where his wife had purposefully created her own creative paradise. The inside of his home is filled with art gathered over a lifetime, and that, too, helps to compensate for hazards and frustrations of traffic and the challenges of coping with urban life.

If you are stuck in a place like this, seek refuge in beauty of your own creation. For those living in Houston at the moment, check out the opportunity that woodturning will provide. A friend of mine, Alan Lacer, will be here to teach with the Gulf States Woodturners this month.

Fortunately, I'll be home for classes on Monday morning.

Make, fix, create, and help others to do so.


  1. I think I'm with you on this one! I grew up and spent most of my life in Washington state, and was never particularly impressed with other parts of the country I'd visited. I always found it amazing that people choose to stay in "boring" places when there are so many nice places they could live in. I think for so many it's as if the only thing that matters is the artificial world, in which case a place like Houston is much like any other. Few have any connection to the natural (real!) world anymore, and thus consider it nothing more than a curiosity, if that. I strongly suspect that this is exactly why so many are willing to allow the natural world to be trashed, as this author succinctly put it

  2. I have traveled through 47 of the 50 states, and have found something beautiful in the natural environment of all of them. From the huge open spaces of the prairies to the dry Southwest deserts, the wet forests of the Northwest and even my home next to Lake Erie, natural beauty is there. I have my favorite places, but can also appreciate what I see. What humans have done with it is a whole different story, and often a sad one. Keep fighting to save your small corner of the world, Doug.