Thursday, August 23, 2007

Welty and Stickley on Searching for the Root -- Theology of Space

It is through place that we put our roots, wherever birth, chances, fate or our own traveling selves set us down; but where these roots reach toward ... is the deep and running vein.
--Eudora Welty found at the Cornell University website here.

So, advancing from instance to instance, we reach the conclusion that any art worthy of the name must strike its roots deep into the life of the people, and must produce as freely and naturally as does the plant in summer.
--Gustav Stickley found in the first issue of The Craftsman, October 1901, "Style and It's Requisites"

From our place -- our context or space or whatever you want to call it -- that place in which we dwell, we set down roots, seeking for that deep and running vein (the wellspring). Where that place is, according to Welty, would be dependent on birth, chances, fate or our own selves. For me that would be more of the grace and providence of God.

Stickley speaks of art putting forth roots to seek that wellspring, as well -- and he found it in the "life of the people." (In this same issue he speaks of William Morris' socialism -- an idea that Stickley seems to embrace as well.) Again, I would place this wellspring within the presence and being of God.

Both speak of inspiration being somewhere beyond self and beyond "art." An intuitive looking for that which inspires?

Other thoughts:
Dwelling -- we call our houses dwelling. Compare how the word "dwelling" is used for God in the Bible.
The building of the tabernacle and the temple in the Hebrew Scriptures.

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