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Living in Times You Did Not Choose

Living in Times You Did Not Choose

“I wish it need not have happened in my time.” “So do I and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings I have seen a lot of...

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What are We Watching?

What are We Watching?

“Moral good is a practical stimulus: it is no sooner seen, than it inspires an impulse to practice…” Plutarch Experience shows the tremendous power of simply seeing moral good enacted. This, in part, is why they say you never know all the effects of your good action....

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Nature: What It Takes for Us to Notice

Nature: What It Takes for Us to Notice

“Of things that exist, some exist by nature, some from other causes.” Aristotle, Physics Why is it that we tend to appreciate less and less that which we see often? Herein is surely one of the great banes and challenges of human life. We grow used to things. There is...

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The Hunt for Wisdom

The Hunt for Wisdom

“Pursue wisdom like a hunter, and lie in wait on her paths.” Ben Sira (Sirach 14:22) There is something primordial about hunting. In part, because we all need to find certain things—things that call for hunting of some kind. Hunting done well is always about life....

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Tolkienian Wisdom for Christmastide and the New Year

Tolkienian Wisdom for Christmastide and the New Year

“The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song.” J.R. Tolkien, The Lord of...

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Christmas Details Matter

Christmas Details Matter

"[T]he whole of man, soul and body, is nourished sanely by a multiplicity of observed traditional things." Hilaire Belloc, 'A Remaining Christmas' Real festivity, like a human person, has a soul and body. A person's thriving is most of all in the well-disposed soul,...

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3 Keys to Intense Rest this Christmas

3 Keys to Intense Rest this Christmas

“All toil together and all rest together.” Virgil, Georgics Toiling together and resting together are two things we crave. These are the two main kinds of activity nature provides to join us with those we love. In these we enact our relationships and experience the...

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Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

Crafting the Human by Slaughtering a Pig

"let this day begin again the change of hogs into people, not the other way around, for today we celebrate again our lives’ wedding with the world, for by our hunger, by this provisioning, we renew the bond." Wendell Berry, 'For the Hog Killing' It’s about being...

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Thinking about My Death

Thinking about My Death

The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me. Socrates, in Plato’s Apology Yesterday I was walking back to the house alone after...

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Thanksgiving: A Time for Story-Telling

Thanksgiving: A Time for Story-Telling

“Come, rather,” then she said, “dear guest, and tell us From the beginning the Greek stratagems…” The room fell silent, and all eyes were on him, As Father Aeneas from his high couch began… Virgil, The Aeneid Each of us has stories: the stories that are chapters of...

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Does Your Home Have a Physical Center?

Does Your Home Have a Physical Center?

“No social group...can survive without constant informal contact among its members.” “The hearth, the place where food was made and eaten, was the heart of family life.” A Pattern Language, by Christopher Alexander, et alia With persistent centrifugal factors...

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Need: The Hidden Key to Wealth

Need: The Hidden Key to Wealth

“Well, you see, my property is enough to supply me with all my needs... Socrates, in Xenophon’s Estate Manager The wise help us to see better. By looking through their eyes, we learn to see things more as they are. One great fruit is that we can be more grateful....

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