Monday, December 30, 2019

a family class

Yesterday my wife and daughter and I took a family class at ESSA with Julie Hop, a noted watercolorist from the ESSA staff. It was a delightful time. My daughter Lucy excelled. Her's is the work shown. I struggled, knowing that free expression is not as easy for me as is the use of jigs and fixtures of my own design for crafting wood.

Fortunately we started with the basics. By the end of the day we had paintings ready to frame and enough basic skill to get better at it. (knowing that it can take years to get good).

When we think of the word "economy," we tend to think large and complex. We ought to instead think of Thoreau, of Shakers, of parsimony, of thrift and of great grandparents who wasted not a single thing. I mention the Shakers in reference not only to thrift but to the quality of design that is reduced to utter simplicity. I mention Thoreau because he suggested a path toward a more meaningful life. Economy of thought can lead to an uncluttered state of mind, allowing us to live more simply, and to reveal and release something greater in ourselves toward building the value of community.

We need to think much more about real economy. Not the one discussed among the world's financial elite, but is instead shared at the community level. The economy where members of families and volunteers make an effort to be of service to each other. A new round of Republican tax cuts raises the nation's deficit by 50% and is poised to make the rich richer by 25% or more. They need the money to fill hollow lives. In the real economy, the one that's not tracked or measured, or even measurable in "economic" terms, people find may find real joy.

We need to redirect families and communities toward simple service. The economy so important to the sustenance of the economic elite is killing the planet. We have the opportunity to save it by becoming advocates of a more simple life.

reduce, conserve, simplify, make, fix and create.

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