Take an object of negligible value and attach a great-great-grandparent to it and you have an article of infinite value -- in some cases. On the things we hold dear, and the things that lose their luster between generations.
From the latest trend in crafting to the great cathedrals, from hobbies to professional skills—making things with our hands from the stuff of earth is an impulse we humans can’t ignore. Stories of learning to appreciate our own handiwork and that of others.
As the snow flies, there’s nothing quite like…what? What comes to mind for you when you think about “comfort food?” No matter what climate we live in, food has the power to warm more than just our stomachs. A collection of stories and recipes.
Who needs to slave over a hot stove in August when you can buy a jar of pickles for $1.00 at Aldi? And yet, many people choose to do things the hard way for a variety of reasons. Is there an inherent virtue in making or growing things instead of buying them ready-made?
Terms like “investment” and “profit” conjure notions of coins or bills or figures preceded by dollar signs, and yet humans cannot live on hard cash alone. The Mad Farmer (a.k.a. Wendell Berry) writes, “Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.” What are the benefits of the non-monetary ways we share profits, raise capital and make exchange for goods and services?
Wendell Berry talks about how the cost of soil erosion is not deducted from the profit on a packaged beefsteak, just as the loss of forest, topsoil and human homes on a Kentucky mountainside does not reduce the profit on a ton of coal. At a time when the definitions of health and wealth seem to be miscalculated, how do we reclaim life-giving measurements of healthy and wealthy lives?
Clothe yourself with humility, with kindness, with righteousness -- the Bible is chock full of good fashion advice for things you can't actually wear. Or can you? What do sweaters and jeans and scarves and hats have to do with our more abstract values?
Beverages are an integral part of cultural rituals throughout history and around the world, both in their production and in their consumption. This issue, best enjoyed with a mug or a glass in your hand, will explore our experiences with various kinds of beverages.
Whether we have a basement full of old chairs and sofas waiting to be reupholstered or just a stump around the campfire, we all live in relationship to furniture. Each piece tells a story of personal and cultural history. Gather round this issue, where our contributors will tell some of their favorite furniture stories.
The word “organizing” might conjure up the rearranging of an exploding closet into neat stacks and rows or the filing of a desk full of flying papers. But it also refers to a group of people collaborating and strategizing to meet a specific goal. This issue will contain stories, models and heroes for both kinds of organizing—and if we’re lucky, maybe even make some creative connections between the two.