"Isn't that why some of us resonate so deeply with Mason? She can see the beauty?" Pg xiv (preface).My answer is a wonderful YES! Laurie Bestvater begins the preface with a Wendell Berry quote, in itself profound of meaning about his observation of seminary students and missing essence of God. She continues her analysis of the great question and includes this insight:
"Mason had shown me that notebooks can be forms of vitality, literally the shape and outline, the liturgy of the attentive life. They nurture the science of relations and the art of mindfulness. They teach us to see the very brief beauty of now, to know the landscape of here, to be present in all our pleasures and pains. Through them we, haltingly, dwell in a world of ideas and connections with an ever-higher opinion of God and his works and as truer students of Divinity." Pg xivI found the whole preface an appropriate greeting to the gateway. I have always believed that you can't separate Mason from faith. I can't speak for others but in our life living our faith and staying true to our beliefs are very important in home education. When you see me express myself as living our education I am including to mean everything important in our lives and ultimately, hopefully, all required to make our children good stewards of God and all his creation. So, YES, there was always a natural calling from Mason for various reasons, but, her ability to "see the beauty," certainly one of the most important.
|captured on our DC trip last year|
|Panel at last year's CM Institute Conference|
"So, as Mason says of herself overall, she was not an innovator in this regard either. The Keepers who were scholars, the movers and shakers in science, the arts, and exploration on whom she called regularly in her classroom she knew enough to imitate. To that extent, Mason comes to the art of keeping notebooks naturally, not in a vacuum but within the rich context of the Western notion of Liberal Arts which fairly demands some of these academic disciplines." Pg 10Most of us have come to appreciate Mason because her methods, her philosophy have felt natural in our lives. I, for one, am grateful she took this notion of keeping notebooks and extended to include the child, the person, as Bestvater reminds us is at the center of a CM education. Here, I give you my second favorite point in this chapter:
"Her method has arrived like a time capsule filled with ideas we seem to be in danger of losing track of in this fill-in-the-blank, megabyte world....Innovator or no, perhaps we simply have need of a studied, intelligent, common sense voice from the past asking us to hold up for a minute and examine the force of the culture shapers she insisted on as a curriculum for every child and the particular paper ways they had of pursuing their loves." Pg 11Looking forward to Chapter 2: Gallery of Forms, a look at the Mason student and their notebooks.
|Link to Wildflowers and Marbles|