Wednesday, May 28, 2014

values and other thoughts

It looks like I blog about once a month.  Let me write something here before May ends.  Below you see my little friend Wendell who is taking a look at some tests I graded as the semester wound to an end.

Wendell loves to climb into the middle of whatever I'm doing.  I'm sure your cats like to do the same thing.  

One of my themes this month has been searching for what my values are.

Maya Angelou said courage was the most important virtue, because without it you couldn't practice any of the other virtues.  I saw a quote recently attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. that said something like "Without justice there can be no peace."  I wonder as I work my way through this year what my values are, what my religion is.  A bumper sticker I spotted once said "My religion is kindness" which resonates also.  I've always felt truth to be one I placed a high value on.

Simplicity and plain living continues to resonate as one of my values.  I feel happiest when my day consists of simple chores such as washing dishes, making bread, doing laundry, sweeping the floor.  When my life is orderly, most tasks feel simple.  I can be focused and do one thing at a time.  

I just finished reading "Daybook" by Anne Truitt.  It inspired me to write more thoughtful journal entries of honest reflection.  Her journal entries are so enriching.  It is truly amazing what you can discover by simply writing down your thoughts.  In my head, I go in circles, but on paper, I can end up making a few steps forward.

I continue to do research about home design principles.  My most valued text is "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander.  I began a project where I sketch out floor plans of all the homes I've lived in, and recall what was effective, what was awkward, what was cozy and immediately drew you in.  While buying a home and fixing it up is appealing, there is something about designing a home that I desire intensely.  It is one of my life's goals.  

Researching how homes work, finding out how furniture can or should be put together, how materials work, how humans feel when they interact with spaces and objects...all this fascinates me.  

Oh and I want to design my own clothing as well.  Perhaps I am a maker and designer first of all.

And I struggle with the fact that I am good at teaching math, but it seems to matter very little.  I try to have some fun with it, as much as I can.  But now that the semester is over, I am taking a hiatus from human interaction and trying to spend as much quiet time in nature as possible.