Sitting on the Porch
July 5, 2017

“I cannot separate it [watching the world go by] from the porch where it occurs. The action and the space are indivisible. The action is supported by this kind of space. The space supports this kind of action. The two form a unit, a pattern of events in space.” Christopher Alexander, The […]

What to Do This Summer
June 21, 2017

“And it was summer–warm, beautiful summer.” Hans Christian Andersen Making a household today often calls for being intentional. By being ‘intentional’ I mean making a conscious and regular effort to deliberate about how best to achieve an end. In an age when good customs embodied a passed-on wisdom, parents did not need […]

A Place to Watch the World Go By
July 20, 2016

“For instance, in order for the pattern of events ‘watching the world go by’ to happen, it is essential that the porch should be a little raised above the level of the street; it is essential that the porch be deep enough, to let a group of people sit there comfortably; and […]

Ethika Politika
Leisure Starts at Home
September 30, 2015

“As I must repeat again, the first principle of all action is leisure. Both are required, but leisure is better than occupation and is its end.” — Aristotle, Politics VIII Life is about leisure. This statement sounds odd to our ears. But if we understand leisure, and life, as Aristotle does, then […]

Wednesday Quotes
The Festivity of the Just
September 16, 2015

“Men whose justice is straight know neither hunger nor ruin, but amid feasts enjoy the yield of their labors.” Hesiod, Works and Days Festivity. The word brings longing to the heart; we find ourselves wondering where it can be found. In describing a flourishing society Hesiod points especially to the festivity of […]

Wednesday Quotes
Summer Reading is for Everyone
July 1, 2015

“Then shall we carelessly allow the children to hear any old stories…?” Plato, Republic Summer is a time for stories. There is a great tradition of taking stories seriously, even, and sometimes especially, ‘non-serious’ or leisure reading. Stories are food for the soul, for young and old alike. They should nourish. Age-appropriate […]

Wednesday Quotes
Do We Need a Vacation?
June 10, 2015

In our overly frenetic lives, a time orchestrated for an intense being-together with those we love can be a real gift, even a necessity. I am on vacation this week, and I am deeply grateful to those who have made this extended-family vacation possible. It is a reminder, even a foretaste, of […]

Wednesday Quotes
Picture-Books in Winter
March 4, 2015

“Water now is turned to stone Nurse and I can walk upon; Still we find the flowing brooks In the picture storybooks. … How am I to sing your praise, Happy chimney-corner days, Sitting safe in nursery nooks, Reading picture storybooks?” Robert Louis Stevenson So many ugly images. They seem to saturate […]

Wednesday Quotes
Holiday Blues
December 31, 2014

The Christmas season can be very challenging. Socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically. How we view this season is colored by our subjective experiences of it. For some the very thought of the season evinces pain, or at least melancholy. For others—often children—the season can have unequivocally good feelings associated with it. For others […]

Wednesday Quotes
The Land of Storybooks
November 19, 2014

At evening when the lamp is lit, Around the fire my parents sit; They sit at home and talk and sing, And do not play at anything. Now, with my little gun, I crawl All in the dark along the wall, And follow round the forest track Away behind the sofa back. […]