Sunday, October 25, 2015

from spark to flame

Tim sent this link: Among Dartmouth's Lathes and Saws, Lessons in Creativity.  An article about a few folks clinging against the tide to what has always worked on the human condition. We make, we learn, we grow in character and intelligence through the collaboration of hand and mind. Many graduates of Dartmouth have clearer memories of the time they spent in the school wood shop than of any of the classes they took.
The feeblest spark of genius may grow into a flame if it receives adequate fuel or nourishment. But this is precisely what is wanting in earliest childhood, because our educational systems leave out of account the law of all production, the law according to which the artist produces his masterpieces, and the silk-worm spins. "Forbid the silk-worm to spin,"—he will go on all the same! But not so the human being, who in thousands and thousands of ways, may be hindered from spinning out his particular destiny. "Genius needs no tutor, it bursts through all obstructions and makes itself room to work in spite of all!" – Bertha Von Marenholtz-Bülow, Hand Work & Head Work, 1882
Yesterday I applied finish to many of the tiny boxes I've made to prepare them for photography in my own wood shop and for shipping to Taunton Press so they can design a cover image for the Tiny boxes book. I also attended a reception for a good friend with whom I helped to found the National Water Center and worked to heal the springs for which our small town was made famous. It is hard to believe that was almost 40 years ago. We were ambitious and thought we would change the world. In addition to starting the National Water Center, (a 501-C3 organization) we also proposed a National Water Week and celebrated it with compost toilet building workshops and musical events. We thought we would create an ethos of environmental responsibility. Most of the world, it seems was either not listening or was headed in the opposite direction.

In the meantime, some of our work with Save the Ozarks bore fruit yesterday when the Safari Park in Gentry, Arkansas was awarded a jury settlement in its lawsuit against SWEPCO in the amount of $917,000. SWEPCO had agreed to pay $37,000 for eminent domain in taking land from the Safari Park. The owners of the Park appealed and based in part on evidence provided by Save the Ozarks the jury awarded them 25 times the earlier settlement. We proved the power line was never necessary in the first place, and the jury agreed that SWEPCO should pay damages. We hope this is the beginning of a new day for the power grid in which companies are forced to consider service over profits.

Make, fix, create, and assist others to learn likewise.

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