5 Quick Things #270 🏠
milestones, libraries, perspective, & required beauty
This afternoon my neighbor friend is coming by for a quick visit, and I'm delighted by the prospect. We normally meet at our local coffee shop, and I've been thinking about the beauty of these sorts of "third places" for a few months now. In our culture, they tend to come in the form of coffee shops, but they also manifest as pubs, libraries, and parks: basically, third places are where we gather to live our lives that aren't our homes or our places of work. We do often work there, but we aren't employed by these spaces. We use them as living rooms to meet friends when we've got laundry piled high in our own back home. They become central, neutral locations for a meeting when our homes or offices otherwise don't seem quite right.
I love them. And yet, there's a lost art to simply having a friend over to our home for a leisurely chat, warts and all (the home, not the friend nor the chat). I adore third places and will forever find them a charming necessity, but our homes are meant to be shared, too. It's good to remember the goodness and beauty of letting someone walk through your front door and telling them with our lived lives on display that, you, too, are welcome to be yourself here.
5 Quick Things ☕️
1. 📻 New episode of A Drink With a Friend! 📻 You always remember your first. ...Get your mind out of the gutter, we're talking about first BOOK loves — you know, the stories that captured us and wouldn't let us go. In this episode, Seth and I talk about the books that first drew us to the magic of good storytelling and word-weaving — beyond childish trinket stories, these were the books that first taught us the sacramental beauty of a story told well.
2. Earlier this week I wrote about a milestone happening in our family this weekend: my oldest is turning eighteen. “It’s cliché and trite and obvious, but we humans forget it: there are seasons for things. There are literal phases in nature when trees are bare and others when they bud, and there are phases in life when we juggle grocery shopping with multiple children and other phases when you leave for the store, and you’re not quite sure where those children are and that’s perfectly fine.”
3. Why do we bother to seek out beauty, to love good things, or to pursue that which makes our lives sweeter when it feels like ‘the world is always burning’? My friend Claire explores this question with astute perception: “Rebellion in times such as these doesn’t have to look like a poster board in a protest. It can look like beauty: forming the world to be as it was designed.” (Her words remind me of something I wrote last year about why beauty isn’t an extra, it’s required.)
4. Because our culture often believes crazy things, there’s been an article floating around about how building a personal library is ‘smug and middle class.’ Well, Joel Miller, in his usual wisdom, reminds us of five reasons why it’s actually good to collect and display (and read, of course!) your books. (Related: I appreciate Autumn’s perspective here, too, about the beauty of building a legacy of books.)
5. And finally, Shawn has some perspective gained from pausing social media for two weeks. Yep, just half a month nets so many net benefits. (Related: I still don’t miss Instagram. in fact, I pretty much forget it exists.)
Currently Reading, Watching, Listening 📚
The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Classical Christian Education, by Kevin Clark and Ravi Jain
The Commonplace is a reader-supported publication. Become a subscriber:
“To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends.”
— Samuel Johnson #
What’s your evening drink of choice? ☕️🍵
It was a bold move, me asking about beverages two weeks in a row, but Kyle was curious about your answers to this one. I like the idea of being a nightcap person, but alcohol makes me sleep horribly if I drink it too late. And I’m quite surprised (but in a good way!) that there are folks who actually do drink warm milk these days. I’m mostly in camp herbal (or decaf) tea.
Find this week’s poll here.
Quick Links 🔗
Become a paying subscriber of The Commonplace (and thank you!)
Question(s) For You to Ponder… 🤔
What was your favorite birthday so far? What made it memorable?
Have a good weekend,