Friday, July 12, 2019

day 5 at ESSA

Today I finish my 5 day box making class at ESSA and will then set up for a two day adult/child class on making box guitars.

Yesterday I gave a demonstration of cutting mitered finger joints during ESSA's studio stroll. Real work, doing real things provides the opportunity to discuss philosophy without boring the listener, so I used the opportunity to make a plug for a return to a more thoughtful societal state in which what we acquire and own would reinforce character in our communities and build resilience in our nation state.

That's a hard slog when you can get machine made stuff imported from foreign lands so cheap. Just imagine! We would rather destroy the planet for cheap stuff than build skill, character and intelligence in each other.

As my sister Sue lay dying the night before last, my brother-in-law Mike heard her say quietly to herself, "Be good. Be brave." Whether words of encouragement to herself, or counsel to others, the words are wise for both life and for death.

We must all be brave. We must all talk frankly with each other and be brave and good in what we say and do.

One of my students at lunch suggested term limits as a way to improve politics in America. I mentioned my wife's 30 plus year service to our local libraries. Would it not be better if, instead of throwing the bums out on a routine basis that we encourage them to adhere to higher standards? My wife would be a better Senate majority leader than Mitch McConnell, simply because she has personal standards of goodness that require that she serve the public, not serve the party, or the big donors, or the ideology or what it takes to be re-elected.

So let's reform elections in the US and raise the expectation that elected "public servants" be held to the same standards of goodness and bravery as the rest of us. That we must be good enough and brave enough to be in steady service to each other.

Make, fix, and create...


  1. “Be good. Be brave.” What beautiful dying words. If only all of us would follow those words.

    Your sister sounds like she was a wonderful person, and even without knowing her I regret her dying. I am very sorry for your loss and your family’s loss.

  2. Great words from a great educator! (((hugs)))