Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Sense of Place

We are developing the life of the mind. Does it matter where we do it? I am a radical fan of the God-Man, Jesus Christ. The Word that deigned to become flesh. Oh yes, place, food....stuff matters. Place, like clothing, reminds us of who we are and what we are doing.

Now that my two eldest are studying in parts distant for the present - one in music conservatory in California, and one in St Petersburg, Russia - I am especially delighted that my at-home student wants to study wherever I am. Our favorite spots therefore, have to have room for at least two.

So, the kitchen table...Especially for the last couple of weeks, when I have been teaching, discussing and dispensing aid while stirring up fresh bruschetta, freezing green chili sauce, drying tomatoes and herbs, and baking zucchini herb bread. The harvest not only of garden gems, but of camaraderie has been bountiful.

Though our girls are gone, we are still a productive family.

And since autumn has come in with darkling rain and frosty mornings, we curl up with our books and cups of hot mocha before the fireplace. We revel in the delicious warmth of fellowship with great minds - some of them in our books, some of them right there by the fire in the flesh.

Our tech den is really more of a wired library. Desks tucked between bookshelves lit with Tiffany lamps and softened with a futon where we can both settle with laptops to get down to business. Witness to our labors are the beautiful paintings and photographs the children have created over the years. We remember there that the works of our hands will endure, so we should labor to craft them well.

And finally, we love to study with our speech and debate club, Counterpoint Cultural Alliance. We explore the interface between philosophy and theology and find ways to speak to those around us who are still lost in a closed universe where God doesn't burst through the brazen heavens. We make history come to life in documentary films and inspirational one-acts. We make opportunities to bring our book-learning into real world impact today. So our study spot might be the classroom, but it might just as easily be pounding the pavement promoting the Denver Rebelution Tour or questioning defendants in Teen Court, or jolting a jaded church youth group out of their rut with hilarious and searching dramatic presentations.

Most of all, we love to study wherever our Lord places us. We are everywhere He wants to be (apologies to VISA).

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