We begin again. Hello Dewey. I am delighted you found your way here.
Tonight I would like to continue to reply to you personally. Last night I was surprised how much I learned by reflecting on your questions.
Al says, "I'm one of the simple visitors to the Innermost House Facebook page and blog. Frankly, many of the discussions are over my head... I came first because I'm interested in conservation, building and small homes, so I pay attention to remarks about how the house was built and how it operates. I'm also interested in simple living and am inspired by the stories about the foods you eat, your iron pot and Japanese bowls."
Dear Al, I too am a simple visitor to this page. And it is true of me as well that many of the Conversations I love are over my head. But they are over my head as the sky is over my head. I breathe in the sky with every breath. It gives me life. Perhaps the same is true of you.
I am always doing things like this—but when I first read your words I read "conversation" instead of "conservation." It is only now that I see what you actually said.
But it makes me wonder. What is conservation really but entering into conversation with the larger, silent world of nature on which we all depend? I am thankful that so many care enough to devote themselves to the preservation of our natural world. I wonder if any effort we can make would bring about so great a change in our natural relations as receiving the woods as an honored guest at our firesides, and opening our hearts to her in gentle conversation?
I love what you love. I love the woods. I love the great open spaces of my little house. I love the homeliness of the foods we eat, our one pot and bowls. I look forward to talking over the coming weeks about what life is like in Innermost House, and how it works, and if I can, what it means to me.
What are these things? The woods, a house, a pot and bowl of simple food. To me they are the body.
I can only speak for myself. But perhaps you feel as I do. The innermost life to me is inseparable from bodies. I want a life of air to breathe and words to speak and hear. I want to watch the steam rising from the kettle over coals in the cold of the evening. I want the shadows that fall over walls where the signs still show of the hands that made them. I want to feel the body.
I know of my own experience that there are ways of living wholly in the mind. Ways that have given comfort and peace to millions. But I do not want them.
I want that place and way of life where mind and body live in married union. I have sought it always. I have glimpsed it in a thousand lowly corners of life. I have lived it for years.
How modest your words are Al. I think you must have known suffering in your life, and perhaps sometimes wondered how in this world to find the satisfaction you long for.