Motivate the Mind
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Motivate the Mind

Stu is a number patterns guy, like a lot of people are secretly. He sees 12/21 as a clearly special month, and is not at all all suprised that this post comes out 12/5/21 -World Soil Day : ).

How the Brits’ Ruskin and Morris Can Still Save Us All

Bug Stu on that Arts and Crafts thing you started

We know, all old figures had their sin.
And all movements…have their flaws.
One seemed to end that I’d re-begin,
nearly crushed by the Great-War’s steel jaws.

Your Modern way slays in so many ways,
The Brits’ Morris…sought amends
for monster smokestacks, and their attacks,
on what your…flourishing depends.

Photo by Mike Marrah on Usplash

And though the stacks are better now,
your brain knows something’s missing,
and sly hackers seek the what and how
of Want to get around your resisting.

You have not left the Great-War’s jaws,
but just before they closed,
the movement, made by Morris, paused,
though not crushed, as I’d supposed.

It went aloft and under…ground,
the Brits’ Arts-and-Crafts survived.
The Yanks, for one, kept it around
but gagged and bound by Modernized eyes.

Then the Seventies started another path
when the Modernized longed for more,
more than the More of decades past,
old Arts-and-Crafts, again, adored.

By ’88 a great idea
had landed here in Asheville,
the lofty side of Arts-and-Crafts,
a light upon Groves’ hill.

Grove Park Inn, home of the National Arts and Crafts Conference in Asheville, NC

More than just the lofty stuff,
the Grails, the Arks, of craftsmen.
The pails, the sparks, the smooth once rough,
imagined, made, and basked in.

Imagine, wake, and bask in,
what brain science says is so:
Flourishing doesn’t mean more of More.
More Flourishing is found in Flow.

Like nourishing is not just calories,
and winning is not just points,
Success can’t hide the maladies,
of the Ways the Crowd anoints.

There are so many ways
to make a pie,
and all have days
and fans who’d vie
to find their slice
and find their place
and praise the prize
in their Ratti race.

But the 7th Pie is something new,
or something old, I’ll leave it up to you,
a glue that’s made of bramble fruit
well-mixed, and you can substitute
a different fruit to suit the need,
and it varies, based on kin and creed.

It glues together arts and crafts
of the people needed, that come attached,
to make your eco…nomics work,
where all seek worth, that human quirk.

That quirk that makes you want to be
both wanted and left alone.
That quirk that makes you want folly,
but too, skills you love to hone.

That quirk that cries for full freedom
but still feels drawn to atone.
That quirk can’t forget where you came from
and that you’re not just here…on your own.

The 7th Pie, like Arts-and-Crafts,
is like glue that bonds all the rest.
It’s not all cherries or any one thing,
and the canes and vines can attest,
you like to Try and to Strain sometimes,
to use your bodies, to use your minds,
you need…ebbs and flows,
yes those, entwined…like music,
with its…rhythms and rhymes.

All old figures have had their sins.
All movements have their flaws.
One seemed to end I’d re-begin,
not on rights but correlation and cause.

It’s Fun that you find,
when you use your mind
and body to make things just so.
And you’ll sit by the fire
with your work to admire
as you bask in the afterglow.

You’ve had a hundred-year lapse
since those Arts-and-Crafts
went on pause
as the steel crawlers crawled.
A few Brits started it,
and from where I sit,
you need Ruskin-and-Morris, et al.

It’s prob’ly time, they’d implore,
to bring back Arts-and-Crafts,
for slack, making up for
the systems’…gaffs.

And what’s more,
is that it maintains a store
of purpose and worth,
the key and shared core,
for a settling…subtler…
kind of More.

Keep in mind this archival photo is from the early 1920’s -per Stu. The six types of pie at the top represent the six broad categories of industry/commerce/information. UVSONA Pie on the left has a slice of each of those six pies arranged in one “baker’s display tray”. UVSONA Pie’ on the right includes a slice from the 7th Pie, which changes a lot of things. Stu will get into more details in his SHEDexo Talk, including what UVSONA meant.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you might remember that I’ve gone on (and on) about the Arts and Crafts movement a few times. It’s a key part of all this, but I’ve been waiting for the right time to fold it back in.

Stu’s pretty sure that a month (and year) where multiple maximum length palindromes show up is likely to be the right time, since it’s a pretty big deal in This Project. And it seemed to happen on its own without my pushing for it — on 12/1/21. He’s a little anxious about our getting this all wrapped up in this clearly magical month.

You could probably do without my mentioning kintsugi again, but I just need to bring it in today for giving this all coherence with recent newsletters. The Arts and Crafts movement was NOT so much about repair, or the k-word, but we’re saying the two worlds can and need to be combined, along with other things, for the 7th Pie.

The Arts and Crafts advocates, which actually began in Great Britain in the mid-1800’s, were really addressing the problematic production methods of new goods, not repair/reuse. Their issue was the increasing dehumanizing they saw coming with intensive manufacturing and the resulting “labor class”, as opposed to more wholistic systems. It was not about equality, as is sometimes misunderstood. That’s a complicated issue now and also then, due to definitions and degree.

They were advocating for a return to more rewarding craftwork and art in opposition to increasing mass production methods. Stu and I are not crazy enough to think we could accomplish that, nor that society needs yet another Cause to oppose another Cause (some people do love that stuff, we have to admit. It often goes beyond the…well, maybe another time).

When Stu refers to the 7th Pie, he’s talking about adding a 7th type of pie to the six (he says) existing pies that comprise the U.S. economy/culture. That 7th Pie isn’t in direct opposition to the other six pies, in fact it helps them in qualitative, if not quantitative, ways.

It’s a more deliberate/intentional pie than the others are, in terms of social, environmental, and economic outcomes. And it’s Bumbleberry pie, meaning multiple berries, usually. It’s a different way of thinking and doing, but it’s not trying to take over the conventional pies.

Intended for the Yanks here originally:

With that, I can explain the archival photo I often include here, where Stu and Allie are discussing the new-then 7th Pie Theory. I’d sent the above poem across the (Atlantic) pond this morning to our East Sussex connection there. The poem relates to the British beginnings of the Arts-and-Crafts movement, which are important to our continuing story and that of Newton County, the Stralfs, Lafayette, Purdue, and everything.

Oh, and here’s a big Convergence thing Stu realized this morning while reading about how Marquis De Lafayette and his involvement in the American Revolution, the French Revolution and subsequent European/French troubles ties together with resisting today’s Stralfian strategies aimed at getting us to abandon Earth.

You probably remember the Reign of Terror from the French revolutionaries, right? Stu realized that 7th Pie Theory is basically the Reign of Terrior, or Reign of Land/Soil, which is a peaceful and resilient reign, and he can’t imagine that this realization, on this World Soil Day 2021, in this auspicious December of 2021, is merely a coincidence. More next time!

Thanks for reading.




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T.J. Storey

T.J. Storey

Former teacher, Jeanne’s husband, Brandon’s and Elyse’s dad. No guru/no woo woo. Fan of how-things-work and what it means for our kids, theirs, theirs,…