Thursday, December 15, 2005

What She Said

"I long for Americans to be converted to simpler lives, simpler structures, and preservation of open space. But how do deep, radical conversions come about? Not because some righteous neighbor scolds about herbicide, but because one feels the relentless gnawing of one's own soul."
The Barn at the End of the World , Mary Rose O'Reilley

Such a depressing thought, but I believe it's true. For so long I've been trying to think of how to convince people they don't need to tear down a 300 year-old Colonial cape to build a 8000 s.f. MacMansion, where all the kids will have their own bathrooms and they'll never learn about sharing and aging and human frailties (growing up, I shared a bathroom with my mother, can you tell?). But O'Reilley's right, it can't be done. If people are going to come to that realization, they have to come to it themselves. Maybe historic preservationists should be allying themselves with Buddhists.

2 comments:

maryse said...

oh man, that drives me batty -- the tearing down of history -- the little that we have -- to build those monstrosities. because they are rarely beautiful.

Laurie said...

That quote applies to many things that should gnaw at souls and stimulate thought AND action. Well said.