Tuesday, August 13, 2019

this day...

My wife and I returned yesterday from the memorial in Bloomington Indiana for my sister Sue. I'm tired, but it's time to get ready for the launch of the school year at the Clear Spring School. My meetings with administration and fellow teachers start on Wednesday, and I have a lot to do to get the woodshop ready for the return of kids.

The profile article in the Democrat-Gazette turned out to be a lovely piece of work, well outlining parts of my life. https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2019/aug/11/douglas-stowe-woodworker-finds-wisdom-i/

There was one thing that I wish had been covered in greater depth: the ways in which the hands and their use in learning builds the heart-mind connection. It does so, in five distinct but interrelated realms. It affects how we feel about ourselves and strengthens the intelligence and sense of interconnectedness that resides within us. It builds healthy, happy, families and also builds the intelligence and feelings that resides within them. Healthy, happy, smart families are the foundation of great communities, great communities are the foundation for great nations and you can see that even the broad expanse of human culture is based on the foundation laid and continuously maintained by our very human hands.

This is not to say that machines don't have their effect. They are impersonal, careless, powerful, wanton, and we can do best for ourselves when we take a more delicate approach.

Try gardening with a backhoe. What will you get? Will you thence live in a place that offers the sensitivity your humanity will enjoy.

I enjoyed talking with cousins at my sister's memorial, and some of the conversation got deep. My cousin Michael, in agreement with my hands first approach, noted that the most important things we do as human beings are those things we actually do. We've been made complaisant and powerless like observers of a train wreck. But when the dust settles, those of us who've cultivated a relationship with our hands will guide others toward a more wholesome life.

Make, fix, create, and assist others in learning likewise.

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